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Baby Turkey Day at Squaw Creek Farm

We received our 5th flock of turkeys this morning.  My husband is a 3rd generation turkey grower, and proud of it.  We put up five buildings and began raising turkeys last summer.


The truck came around 8:00 this morning.  Adam and I showed up around 8:45, just as they were finishing up.

img_0774 Just over 20,000 birds were unloaded in less than an hour.  My husband worked with his father, sister, my brother, a neighbor kid, and his cousin to unload.  While they did the hard work,  Adam and I took pictures. :)img_0771

This is Bart’s cousin, Carter.  He lives in South Dakota, and is here visiting for Easter.  We are trying to convince him to come to Iowa State and work on the farm when he is older. img_0778He wasn’t so fond of that idea.  He says this is hard work, harder than basketball or football practice.  Gotta give the kid some credit, though.  He was out here working while his three brothers (1 older, 2 younger) were at Grandma and Grandpa’s sleeping.  See how the poults all crowded up to see the boys?  Silly turkeys. img_0782

We could NOT get Adam to look at the camera.  He was way too concerned about the skid loader.  “Tuh-tuh, tuh-tuh.”


The turkeys come in the crates that are stacked in the Bobcat’s bucket – 100 per crate.

img_0773  For the first two weeks or so, they live in these “rings.”  This keeps them close to the heaters, and keeps them from piling on each other as much.  Over the next few days, we  Bart will gradually make the rings bigger until the turkeys have run of the whole building.img_0775

Morning chores in this building will take several hours.  Each of the red feed pans has to be filled by hand, and the little, round, red waterers must be dumped by hand.  We Bart will gradually take these out until the turkeys just use the regular feeders (green and red) and waterers (green and white.) img_0785And, Bart has two other flocks right now.  Usually we have two flocks at a time, not three.  And usually we have a woman who helps with the baby turkeys.  But unfortunately, she’s got shingles and isn’t able to help this time.   The oldest flock goes to market this week, which will help, but that means two LATE nights of loading turkeys for Bart. 


My husband is an amazingly hard worker – 7 days a week, at LEAST 12 hours a day. And this is why.  It is hard on Adam and I, sometimes, so we try to help out when we can, and spend time as a family that way.  We hope that this hard work will pay off soon – our goal is to eliminate enough of our farm debt that we can hire more help, but that is not something that happens overnight!  In the meantime, eat as much turkey as possible to help us out, please!?!?

Would you like to comment?

  1. Katie, I am so happy that you stopped in to say Hi. I LOVE your blog! Can not wait to read more. The pictures you shared are amazing. I am roasting a turkey as I type. Have a HAPPY EASTER
    You have a beautiful family, ENJOY!

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment. My daughter's school class has a few chicks that just hatched. I can't imagine seeing all those little creatures in one place. Hope you will come back for a second visit!

  3. I love reading about your turkeys and seeing the photos. Very interesting.

    I also think it's neat that you have a goal set and are working towards that goal. Diligent hands is what the Lord likes and it sure sounds like that's what your hubby has.

    God bless you all and we will eat more turkey. :)

  4. My mothers family were turkey farmers. They were in Virginia, but I never got to see the farm operating :(

  5. They had the turkeys before the 60's when they switched to chickens.

  6. Hi, this is a really cool post, very interesting.
    Im sure all the hard work will pay off.
    Thanks for finding me and for leaving a nice comment.