Home > Keeping Turkeys
Many British smallholders decide to raise a few turkeys for the table, although, in recent years, there has been a rise in interest amongst poultry keepers wishing to keep small flocks of pure breed turkeys at home.
There are several breeds of turkeys, and although they need larger housing and consume more feed than chickens, they are not difficult to raise. One of the main requirements for keeping turkeys healthy, and preventing diseases such as Blackhead, is to isolate them from chickens. With sufficient space to free-range on their own, turkeys will thrive.
Black turkeys were introduced to England as long ago as the early 1520s from Spain and later became known as Norfolk Black turkeys, named after the county of Norfolk where they were kept. The Norfolk Black was one of the first to be standardised in the UK.
There are now 10 varieties of turkey standardised in the UK and 8 in the US (called heritage varieties). Sadly some of these are facing the threat of extinction. Many could easily be lost, and compared to other poultry, there are very few people keeping turkeys.
Turkey Club UK produces breed standards and promotes the conservation and keeping of turkeys. Our Turkey Forum also provides a place to meet and ask questions and there are some article below to help you get started with turkeys.
These articles cover the basics of keeping turkeys.
Some articles to help you with your Turkey hatching eggs. Whilst these articles talk about chicken eggs, the principles are the same for Turkeys.
Ahen turkey depending on her variety, can lay something like 50 to 75 eggs in a year. Once she starts to lay, you may want to