WE ARE NOT OFFERING ANY TURKEYS IN 2023. TOO MANY PROJECTS AND NOT ENOUGH HOURS. HOPE TO BE BACK AND INCREASING IN 2024.
I dearly miss my large turkey flocks but battling Blackhead has been a challenge. We have decided to move all current turkeys away to other pens. Hopefully build a new building in 2023 and try to disinfect the area as much as possible and then only bring babies that have never been exposed to the chicken areas and maybe be back in the swing of things for 2024. So sorry we just did not have the time to build the new building. Area is now cleared and I have started assembling supplies so hope for some long days and maybe it will get built in 2023. I really miss the turkeys.
Our turkey breeder flocks were hit very hard by Buffalo Gnats at the end of May and all of June in 2013. In the end we lost more than 65% of our adults. The remainder had trouble recovering from massive blood loss and stress. Thousands upon millions of Buffalo Gnats descended upon the pens each day late in the afternoon when there was no breeze, driving the birds nuts as the gnats crawled in the turkey’s ears and covered the exposed skin on the head, sucking blood. This seriously impacted our numbers and plans.
NOTE: No turkey poults will be shipped by us to the State of Minnesota. We are very sorry, but your state Agriculture department requires over 6 blood tests that cannot be done realistically or economically around here.
Any who raises turkeys is aware of the issues, when raising chickens and turkeys together - that being the condition of blackhead (a complex disease that turkeys get from chickens). Our sandy soil (good drainage) helped keep things in check for over 20 years, but our conditions have changed and we are now having periodic outbreaks. (Please see Storey’s Guide To Raising Poultry (4th ed) for an explanation.
We dearly love our turkey flocks and are constantly doing research on the benefits of raising chicks and poults together to prevent Marecks in chickens. We will always continue to raise turkeys, but our poult supply will be variable. When we started this operation in 1989 turkey genetic supplies were at an all time low and we felt pressured to do all we could to maintain and put all our efforts into perpetuation. Fortunately, times have changed and there are now multiple sources for some.
Our new project will be to continue to select for the hardiest birds to withstand Blackhead. Hopefully, we can do what has been labeled the impossible by the professionals and breeders - Blackhead resistant turkeys.