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Few people know about steppe turkeys - such birds are considered a rather rare species, and only recently began to be bred on an industrial scale on large farms. Steppe turkeys are distinguished by passivity, unpretentiousness, resistance to external and internal stimuli, as well as relatively low productivity. Turkeys have a bright appearance - snow-white feathers and bright red beards, therefore they are often grown for decorative purposes.
Description and characteristics of the steppe breed
The steppe breed of turkeys used to be widespread in the south. The body is strong, muscular, set horizontally. The plumage is white, small blotches of other shades are allowed. Turkeys are not too tall, with strong, but sometimes crooked legs.
Due to natural selection in the breeding process, the breeds have an increased resistance to typical turkey diseases. They easily adapt to any conditions of keeping, are not demanding on the quality of feed and water. The growths on the head are deep red. Steppe turkeys are not considered a separate registered breed, so their exterior can vary depending on the courtyard and the preferences of the owner.
Advantages and disadvantages
Farmers in the southern regions of the country love the breed for its unpretentiousness in food and maintenance, sufficient endurance and the almost complete absence of congenital genetic pathologies, due to which they have to cull chicks. However, due to closely related crossbreeding and the almost complete absence of a single breeding plan, representatives of steppe turkeys are very different from each other.
This is a local breed, in which improvement is carried out exclusively by the farmers themselves, without a clear plan for breeding work, therefore individuals differ greatly from each other, both in appearance and in productivity.
Subtleties of maintenance and care
Birds should be kept dry and clean. The litter should be covered with a sufficient layer, otherwise corns will form on the legs of the birds, which gradually crack, and infection can get through the wounds. The premises are cleaned at least once a day, and ideally 2 times. The optimum temperature for keeping adult birds is 13-15 degrees in winter. The breed tolerates cold well, but young animals may not withstand too intense frosts.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
In the poultry house, the walls should be carefully caulked and the room checked for drafts that lead to the death of young animals. Adult turkeys can be fed 2 or 3 times a day, but water should always be readily available.
Crowding of birds in a limited area is not allowed - turkeys begin to fight and can cause serious damage to each other. The optimal number of heads per 10 sq. meters - 3-4.
Chicks of turkeys can eat solid food from the first days of life and need regular feeding. Ideally, newborn chicks should have free access to food. You can not feed young animals food of animal origin, waste from the table. For feeding, a special compound feed for turkey chicks is sold, and its amount is calculated depending on the planned weight gain.
Breeding a steppe breed of turkeys is not particularly difficult. Laying hens' egg production is positively affected by the length of daylight hours - at least 15 hours a day. Chicks up to one month old are kept in a room with a temperature of at least 32 degrees Celsius. Two-month-old young animals are allowed to be kept in rooms with 20 degrees, and gradually lower the temperature. Dampness, draft and cold have a detrimental effect on the chicks, so the house is carefully examined before moving in.
Broods should not be mixed with the general herd. Chicks do not need too much space - 1 sq. m per head for walks up to 2 months - ample space.
Hard-boiled eggs are the ideal first meal for young stock. From the first days, millet and corn chaff can also be added to the diet. After a week of age, add green onions, dandelions, clover.
Usually it is possible to avoid typical diseases of young and adult birds due to the innate strong immunity and endurance of the steppe breed. However, it is recommended to drink vitamin complexes for young animals and to carry out preventive vaccinations in time. Due to violations of the conditions of detention, pathologies may appear in the development of young animals, most often rickets. It is necessary to provide young chicks with a sufficient amount of green food and walking.