A tremendous amount of work goes into getting the barn ready for baby turkeys. We have one brooder barn, where the baby chicks will live until they are 6 or 7 weeks old. Then we have three growout barns where the birds will live out the rest of their lives, but that's another chapter in the Turkey Chronicles. First the barn is cleaned and fresh litter (wood shavings) are spread evenly all over the floor. Pens are set up using brooder guard. Then feed and water have to be put out. This is what the empty barn looks like, ready to receive baby turkeys.
And this is the empty, clean-smelling pen.
This flock we got 21,700 turkeys, which means we got 217 crates. These crates are unloaded from the Cargill truck, then loaded onto a flatbed trailer and then a truck drives the trailer down the center of the barn so that the crates can be unloaded from the trailer and set out by the pens. This flock, there were about 700 birds to a pen.
It takes several people to get this all done, and the more help you have, the faster the process goes. We should have had more kids. We only have two and, yes, they were helping us. It's hard to get help at 2 a.m., or on Christmas Eve, or when it's really hot, or really cold. Actually its hard to get help on a turkey farm most of the time. It's hot, dirty, stinky work, that's for sure.
This is the birds after they have been put into their pen. They are walking around looking for food and water, which is their main goal in life.
Isn't this baby turkey chick cute? She (yes, these are all girls) is really soft and yellow, just like a baby chicken. But, oh, I promise you, this cute little chick gets U-G-L-Y really quickly. And I mean UGLY!!!!!