Barnyard Palace
Poultry

Turkeys

Basic Life Cycle:

Turkeys:
Turkey breeders start to lay eggs for hatching at 32 weeks of age. They are artificially inseminated each week during their egg production period which is approximately 25-30 weeks. The eggs that they lay are used for hatching to produce commercial turkey females (called hens) and commercial males (called toms). Commercial hen turkeys are raised until 14- 16 weeks of age and weigh 14-17 pounds to be processed for their meat. Commercial tom turkeys are raised until 16-20 weeks of age and weigh 26-40 pounds to be processed for meat.

Chickens:
There are two different types of chickens that produce food. Table egg laying chickens are used primarily to produce eggs for human consumption. They start laying eggs between 22-24 weeks of age and lay approximately one egg per day until they are 65 weeks of age.

The other type of chicken is that which is raised to produce meat called a broiler breed. Adult chicken broiler breeds start laying eggs at 22-24 weeks of age and produce eggs until they are 65 weeks of age, much like the table egg laying chicken. The eggs from the broiler breeds are used for hatching to produce broilers that are young chickens raised for their meat. Broilers are usually raised until 6-9 weeks of age and weigh approximately 4-7 pounds when they are processed for their meat.

What this species produces:
Turkeys and chickens produce meat that is high in protein and low in cholesterol. Chickens also produce eggs that are an excellent source of protein.

Turkeys

Dietary facts:
Chickens and turkeys eat primarily grain diets composed of corn and soybean meal that is supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Calcium and phosphorous are important minerals in the diet of chickens and turkeys.

Turkeys

What distinguishes this species from others:
Chickens and turkeys have airsacs to help them breath. Chickens and turkeys walk upright on two legs. Chickens and turkeys have no teeth and have a body temperature of 106 degrees F. Their body is covered by feathers which help insulates them to keep warm and also dry.

General unique factors:
There are over 6½ billion chickens and 500 million turkeys raised each year in the United States to help provide an economical source of food for families all across the nation and world.

Turkeys

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