Turkey Farming In Uganda

Turkeys are the largest domestically raised birds in Uganda. You can rear turkeys for either meat or eggs however most of these birds are reared for the meat production. The feathers can be used in making jewellery like earrings and bracelets. Turkey meat helps in reducing insulin levels, it contains vitamin B which helps in fighting diseases and it also helps in boosting the immune system. Turkeys that are about 4months old can be bought between shs40, 000 and shs60, 000 whereas a mature one can be bought between shs 150, 000 to shs250, 000 or more depending on where you are buying it and the season.

turkey keeping in uganda

Rearing turkey methods

There are three methods that are used in rearing turkeys in Uganda and these include the following:

Deep litter system

This is where a poultry house is constructed for the turkeys. New layers of saw dust are added to the house in order to reduce the spread of diseases and everything from food to water are provided to the turkeys in their housing unit.

Free range system

This is the most commonly used type in Uganda especially by farmers that rear the birds on a small scale. They are left to fend for themselves during the day and then taken to the housing unit at night. The advantage of free range is that you reduce the cost of feeding but there is easy spread of diseases.

Backyard system

A fence is constructed in the backyard and this is where the turkeys are kept. It’s like the free range system however the only difference is that food and water is provided by the farmer unlike in the free range system.

Identify your target market: the demand for turkeys in Uganda is high especially in December as the largest population gears towards celebrating Christmas. They can however be sold throughout the year to restaurants and hotels and to other farmers who want to start turkey farming. Carry out extensive market research across the country and identify who will be able to buy your products. Besides the local market, you can as well export your turkey birds and their products to other countries like Kenya and Tanzania and earn big from turkey farming.

turkey in uganda

Identify the turkey breed

carry out extensive research about the breeds that are suitable for both meat and egg production and also learn more about how they should be taken care of. Turkeys in Uganda are classified into seven varieties and these are:

  • White Holland

  • Beltsville

  • Bronze

  • Bouron red

  • Black state.

Some of the things that you should put into consideration as you choose the turkey breed include the following:

  • The cost of the breed

  • Breeds that are more productive

  • Returns got from the breeds

It is also advisable that you purchase one day old turkeys because they are easy to care for and make sure that the female ones are less than the male ones.

Construction of Turkey house

you will need ample space in order to be able to construct an ample space for the turkeys. The house should have proper ventilation and be a little bit bigger than the chicken house due to their size. As you construct the turkey house, make sure that the young turkeys are separated from the old ones to avoid pecking especially during the day and make sure that the material that is used during construction is durable due to the ever changing weather experienced in the country.

Feeding turkeys

just like chicken, turkeys also feed on a wide range of feeds ranging from greens, kitchen waste and formulated feeds. These feeds should be rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, fibre and energy giving feeds. Vitamins can be obtained from local green vegetation from the surrounding areas, especially the leaves. Energy feeds include millet, sorghum, broken maize and proteins include crushed bones, soya and meat.

Diseases affecting turkeys

this is one of the many challenges affecting poultry farmers rearing turkeys. The most common diseases affecting the birds include pneumonia, sleeping sickness and many more others. Once you realize that there is an infected bird, it is better to isolate it from the rest so as to minimize the spread of infections. Some of the common diseases that you should expect include:


The symptoms of Coccidiosis include yellowish diarrhoea and cough like signs in turkeys. This can be prevented through regular cleaning of the poultry house, use of coxidistat in meals and also disinfecting the birds. Drugs like sulphur and Vazurim are used in treating this ailment.

Turkey pox

This is one of the most common diseases in turkeys and the signs include spots on the areas of a turkey that do not have feathers like the head and legs. The best way to control its spread is by limiting the contact between humans and the birds and through vaccination of the birds using the pox vaccine.

Newcastle disease

This can be seen through respiratory sounds made by the birds, nasal discharges, greenish diarrhoea, uncoordinated movements and twisted necks. It can be prevented through vaccination and limiting contact between humans and the turkey birds.

Thoroughly clean the turkey house so that the birds are not infected easily and also make sure that they are not over crowded.

turkey farming in uganda

Problems faced with Rearing Turkeys in Uganda

  • Disease affecting the animals, most farmers especially those in the rural areas have no access to medicine leading to the loss of some birds.

  • Turkeys normally lay their eggs in the bush which makes it hard for farmers rearing them for eggs.

  • Reproduction for turkeys is a bit hard since they do not have the motherly touch which leads to death of some young turkeys since they are left to fend for themselves.

  • They are kept for the whole year until the festivities in December start.

There is a ready market for turkey both within and outside the country and if you want to reap big from them, you need to improve on the care management so that you do not make losses on the market scene.