- Apr 30, 2013
my grandfather wants to get a few turkeys, but we were wondering about how well the poults sell and egg production.
I believe you will find producing the birds will be the easy part. Marketing them at a profit is where you are most likely to run into difficulty.
It can be done, but you have to work at it, specifically in the advertising to grow your customer base. Keep your birds pure-bred, find out what is and is not common in your area, and locate as many sources of gamebird feed as you can.
I was doing OK with my turkeys until gamebird starter went up three dollars a bag. Even then I might have been able to continue making a go of it, but the wife wanted me to reduce the size of the operation and we do better on table eggs and started pullets so the turkeys had to go.
It's a matter of exploring your local market and how well you develop your advertising. Actually producing the birds is relatively easy.
We have been downsizing our flocks over the years, we used to have 6 color varieties and are now down to just two. Feed prices are a killer when you have alot of birds, we were going thru about 5000 pounds a month before we started downsizing 2 years ago. We were able to make a small profit from them as long as you didn't figure your labor into the mix. If you add in the care / feeding / shipping materials / time spent wrapping eggs and shipping / or taking them to auctions or sales and feeding the breeders in the "off months" that really eats into the profits. We have noted the local sales are dropping each year in our area, this year was our lowest in sales ever but when you go to TSC or Southern States and a 50 pound bag of feed is close to $20 it's easy to see why people aren't buying. If I had to pay those feed prices I couldn't make it, as it stands now I am driving almost an hour one way to a feed mill for a custom feed mix at between $10 -$11 per 50 pounds depending on the corn prices.