Breeding practises

Sexing: Physical appearance of form:
1. Toms are heavier. Matured toms have black bread attached to the skin of the upper breast region.
2. Dew bill or snood, a fleshy protuberance near the base of the beck, which is relatively large, plumb and elastic.
3. Pink or red fleshy protuberances on the head called as caruncles will appear in toms usually by about fifth week and is referred to as shooting the red.
4. Male poults strut even at day old and continue throughout the life.

Hen turkey:
1. The dew bill or snood is relatively small, thin and non-elastic.
2. The bread and caruncles are absent.
Vent sexing is not practiced usually in case of turkeys.

Natural mating:
The mating behavior of tom is known as Strut, wherein it spreads the wings and makes a peculiar sound frequently. In natural mating the male; female ratio is 1:5 for medium type turkeys and 1:3 for large types. On an average 40-50 poults is expected form each breeder hen. Toms are rarely used for mating after first year due to reduced fertility. There is a tendency in toms to develop affinity towards a particular female, so
we have to change the toms for every 15 days.

Artificial insemination:
The advantage of artificial insemination is to maintain high fertility from turkey flock through out the season.
Collection of semen from Tom:
• The age of tom should be 32-36 weeks for semen collection.
• The tom should be kept in isolation at least 15 days before semen collection.
• The tom should be handled regularly and the time required to collect the semen is 2 minutes.
• As the toms are sensitive to handling, the same operator should be used to get maximum volume of semen.
• Average semen volume is 0.15 to 0.30ml.
• Use the semen within one hour of collection.
• Take the collection three times weekly or on alternative days.

Insemination in hens:
• Artificial insemination is done when the flock attains 8-10% egg production.
• Inseminate the hens every three weeks with 0.025-0.030ml of undiluted semen.
• After 12 weeks of the season it may be better to inseminate every fortnight.
• Inseminate the hen after 5-6’ O clock in the evening.
• The average fertility should be 80-85% over a 16 week breeding season.

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