Raising Turkeys

Farmers work hard every day to produce the food you and your family enjoy. There are, unfortunately, misconceptions and misinformation about how meat is produced in the U.S. The truth is, farmers are committed to providing you with safe, nutritious and affordable food and caring for our animals and land. They do so because it is the right thing to do.And you can be assured that raising healthy turkeys is the #1 priority of Minnesota turkey farmers and their families.Check out these links to find out more:View Turkey Farm & Processing Video – as narrated by Dr. Temple Grandin, a leading expert on humane animal careView more information about Antibiotics & Poultry Production in this video by the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association.

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What does the increased efficiency in turkey production mean to consumers?

From 1949 to 1993, the price of turkeys dropped approximately 4.5% per year, more than twice the index for all livestock and commodity groups. This trend has continued, making turkey an excellent food value.

pdf download Turkey Industry Principles

Raising Turkeys

Turkey Fun Facts

Click on the photos below to view video presentations.

Animal Health- See how the turkey industry is working to protect its flocks – and your food supply – by following strict farming policies and protocols.

Animal Welfare- Learn how the turkey industry ensures the health and well-being of its flocks.

Antibiotics- Hear about the importance of animal antibiotics and how they have been used for more than 50 years to maintain the well-being of turkey flocks and to ensure safe products.

Environment- Listen to the importance a turkey farmer places on being a good steward of the air, land and water.

How much turkey do people eat in a year?

Per capita consumption of turkey is approximately 16 pounds per year per person.

How much does it cost to raise a turkey?

The cost of raising a turkey involves many factors. Fixed costs include buildings, equipment and interest on loans while variable costs are labor and ingredients. Feed ingredients account for almost 2/3 of the cost raising a turkey and geographic location, financial situation and farm size all also contribute to cost differences in turkey production.

Are turkeys fed either hormones or drugs?

All turkeys are both hormone and steroid free. No hormones have been approved for use in turkeys. Genetic improvements, better feed formulation and modern management practices are responsible for the larger turkeys produced today.

FDA-approved antibiotics are used at times to help suppress microorganisms, prevent disease and ensure that consumers receive a healthy product. A withdrawal period is required after the time the antibiotic is administered and before the turkey can be slaughtered. The Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA monitors the administration of antibiotics and randomly tests flocks of turkeys for residues. Consumers can be assured that turkeys do not contain antibiotic residues when they go to market.

Does eating turkey make you tired?

Recent studies have shown that it is more likely the large, carbohydrate-rich meal rather than just the turkey. The meal releases tryptophans in the brain, causing drowsiness.

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