Per capita consumption of turkey is approximately 16 pounds per year per person.
Turkeys are fed a balanced diet of corn, soybeans and essential vitamins and minerals. Fresh water and feed are available at all times.
There are no added hormones or steroids given to turkeys today. In fact, no hormones are approved for use in turkeys. Genetic improvements, better feed formulation and modern management practices are responsible for the larger turkeys produced today.
Turkey farmers consider it inhumane to not treat a sick animal. That’s why FDA-approved antibiotics are used at times to help suppress microorganisms, prevent disease and ensure that consumers receive a healthy product.
Consumers can be assured that turkeys do not contain antibiotic residues when they go to market. 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.
Labels you find on meat and poultry items – such as organic, antibiotic-free and free-range – do not reflect differences in food quality or safety. Labels only describe the way in which a poultry or meat product was raised or produced.
Labels can be confusing; click on the link below for a brochure that explains a variety of labels and what they mean.
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.
Barns provide a safe, comfortable home for turkeys. Barns keep predators away, help farmers control germs and diseases from getting to the birds, and allow maximum comfort – turkeys stay cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and dry during inclement weather.
Turkey farmers feed more people using less resources than ever before. Turkeys raised today produce twice as much meat with half as much feed, compared to the 1930s.
No, it’s not the turkey’s fault! Recent studies have shown that it is more likely a large, carbohydrate-rich meal – like the kind we eat at Thanksgiving – rather than just the turkey. A carb-heavy meal like this releases tryptophans in the brain, causing drowsiness.
Minnesota Turkey Growers Association
108 Marty Dr., Suite 1
Buffalo, MN 55313-9338