Kate, our TFTA Chairwoman, takes us through the preparation for the special day when day-old turkey poults arrive on Treway Farm. This busy day marks the countdown to Christmas and the start of the free range turkey growing season to our Golden Turkey Quality Assurance code, on their family farm in Cornwall.
‘Last week the countdown to Christmas really began as our turkey flock of 2022 arrived on the farm.
It is a big job turning one of our cattle sheds into a perfectly pristine ‘brooding house’ for our turkey poults. We then have to construct brooding rings, set up the water drinkers, feeders and install the gas brooders (heating lamps).
We had a call from the hatchery that the turkeys were going to be arriving at 8.50am not 12.45 as previously planned so it was a bit of a mad rush to get the heaters going and finish the final prep. Although the mini farmer’s were delighted as it meant they could help unbox the poults and of course a late start at school! We are so lucky that school are so understanding when it comes to farm life, turkey farming life in particular.
Did you know that turkey poults like to be kept at 37 degrees C? This means it’s really rather toasty in their shed! Over the coming weeks the temperature will be gradually reduced until the heaters are completely turned off in around 4 weeks time.
The poults are kept in round pens with the gas brooder hanging in the centre so that you get an even heat dispersal across the pen. The round sides also prevent any birds getting trapped as turkeys do like to bundle together!
For the first week or two looking after the turkey poults is a very labour intensive job as they need very regular checking to ensure their temperatures are correct. Young turkey poults are quite prone to getting stuck on their backs and if they aren’t helped to be turned over they can quickly die. Luckily we are now coming out the otherwise of this phase!
This week’s turkey job is to combine the brooding rings to give everyone more space to run around.
Last week we loved having so many of you visit the farm on Friday to meet the poults. Will did a brilliant job doing his ‘turkey tours’ and loved all the questions that were asked. If you do ever have a question about our farming practices or animals then please do not hesitate to contact us.’
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