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60,000 turkeys

Twenty thousand poults, hatched Tuesday morning, arrived here around 6:30 Tuesday night! 
Add that to the 18,000ish that will go to market next week, and the 19,000ish that are about 8 weeks old, and we have almost 60,000 turkeys on our farm right now.  We are full!
As usual, I got to help unload.
I managed to bring my camera out while we unloaded, but there are only pictures of the beginning and end of the process because I had to work in the middle!

The truck backed up to the building.  It left Wilmer, Minnesota at 1:30 and made it to our place almost 5 hours later.

turkey truck
Inside the building, the skidloader and two of my favorite, tall, long-armed boys waited for the poults.  My 17 year old brother (the skinny, gangly, monkey armed, blondie) and hubby loaded them into the bucket of the Bobcat.

waiting to unload turkeys
They come in these crates, which hold 100 poults.  The crates are divided into fourths, so the people who pack them only have to count to 25 at a time.  It’s really hard to count all those wiggly little poults!
unloading turkey poults
The skid loader backed down the building to where I was waiting with Beth, the Brooder Lady.

baby turkeys in barn

The boys unloaded the skidloader for us, and Beth and I “dumped” the poults into their new homes.  It’s not a terribly hard job, but it is 90 degrees in the barn, which makes it about 3x harder than it would be if it were 60 degrees like it was outside!  The boys got to go back to the front of the building to reload the skidloader in the cool, fresh air, so I don’t think they understand how hot it really gets!  (This is what Beth and I do the whole time we’re unloading…complain about the heat.)

turkey poults

Within ONE HOUR, we had the poults in their new homes, and the door to the barn closed.  They found their food and water right away, and I went inside to find my own. :)

baby turkeys

Would you like to comment?

  1. That's quite an operation you have there. Ha! Men just don't understand about women and heat. I wish they could experience hot flashes once in awhile, just to have some empathy. LOL!

  2. Wow that is alot of baby chicks!! I've never seen this side of poultry production before - thanks for "opening" your barn doors and letting us in! :)

  3. Katie, how old will they be before you take all the dividers out? I'm so intrigued! And it's so bright in there! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow! You guys have it down! This is all pretty interesting stuff. Who knew?!? Glad you got to go in for some water of your own. You are right. 90 degrees is bad enough, but working on top of that can do you in! Have a great weekend!

  5. Yea, your back to posting about turkey babies (and not human baby's) :) Just joking!! But I relate more to the turkeys. :) Your barns look so clean and efficient, and those poults get all the feed and water they want.

  6. How old are the turkeys when they go to market?

    I'm going to be rolling thru central Iowa (Independence, Hudson, Fredricksburg) in early Nov. Any tips for cool 'off the beaten path' places to see, eat at, do? We've explored the east and west sides, with a jag into the Amana area and I'm excited to have some time to go up the middle!

  7. If it's that hot in there, you should be able to play your "P" card whenever you want to ;-) I'm sure your hubby totally appreciates your help. That IS a whole lot of little turkeys. Can't wait to taste the finished product!

  8. Wow! Are you serious????? Oh, this is SO interesting learning about where my turkey comes from!!!!
    PS sorry it was so hot!

  9. Wowsers, Katie! You were busy! :)