June is Turkey Lovers Month, and do we love our turkeys! Our employees have done a great job through this pandemic, coming to work and making sure our turkeys are taken care of every day. We are all fortunate to be a part of an industry that cares for its animals and provides an important source of protein for consumers around the world.
Taking care of turkeys on the farm begins with brooding. Getting poults off to a good start is an important first step to the successful growth and development of a healthy turkey. It is critical that the birds have fresh air, clean water, quality feed, good litter and sufficient heat.  
 
This latest article from our Technical Team outlines steps to help ensure you and your farm are ready when the next delivery of poults arrives.
You Just Can't Keep the Technical Team Away From Turkeys
Not even a pandemic and social distancing can keep our technical team off the farm! While many on the team are working on bulletins and presentations from home, a few are fortunate enough to live close to our facilities so they can still work with turkeys.

Poult Placements
Part of the crew got to test out the advice in the most recent technical article by helping out with poult placements. Kirk West has taken on the role of delivery driver for our poults going from Lewisburg, WV to the Multi-Environment Farm for pedigree siblings. He is met there by Christy Puffenbarger to place the poults in the barn. Robert Walker has been pitching in at Canadian Select Genetics with poult placements and other tasks at the breeder farms.

18 Week Selection
Christy and Kirk have also been able to help with 18 week selections at the Multi-Environment Farm. The Selection Team typically travels to the farm for selections, however we wanted to limit the exposure of our local staff to other areas. Kirk stepped up to the plate and offered to utilize his past experience in selection to score the birds for leg strength. He and Christy work together with the farm team to get the selections done.

Technical Service
Many of you will have worked with Christy in the field, and appreciate her passion for ensuring turkeys are well cared for on the farm. Christy has often said that her favorite part of the job is in the field working with the animals. Since our Multi-Environment farm is the only one she can visit at the moment, she's spending many days working with the farm crew on everything from flock placements, to gathering weights, troubleshooting, and selections.

While the extra support has been good for the local folks and for our technical team, they are looking forward to getting back out with customers. However, keeping all of our employees healthy is our top priority, so they'll be staying close to home until it is safe for them to get on the road again.

Virtual Support
The team also participated in a virtual meeting and Ira Brister gave a preview of his presentation on Raising the Modern Turkey. Ira will be giving this talk during the education sessions at the Midwest Poultry Convention in August. We hope that you can join him for this virtual event. In the meantime, if you or your team would like a virtual technical visit or presentation, don't hesitate to discuss the options with your local representative.
Investing in the Future
Progress continues on another new pedigree rearing farm set for completion later this year. In addition, a new breeder farm will be finished in 2021. Aviagen Turkeys is proud to be a part of the Aviagen Group. Our owners are committed to the turkey industry and understand that successful animal breeding requires ongoing investment.
Features on the Farms
One of the opportunities when building new facilities is to find new ways to do things. When buying equipment for our new turkey farms, Curt Brammer, VP of Operations, has an eye out for ways to improve employee safety, biosecurity and bird welfare. Here are a few of the new features on the farms.
Plastic Feed Tanks

These plastic tanks are easier to clean because the surface is smooth without joints and seams for germs to hide.

The tanks are also safer for employees because the farm supervisors can see the feed level without having to climb the tank to peer in from the top. This also helps to improve biosecurity since the lid only has to be opened to load the feed.
30,000 Gallon Propane Tank

This high capacity tank only needs to be refilled once per flock which minimizes traffic onto the farm
High Capacity Freezer Building

This freezer building holds a dumpster for mortality and other farm waste. This system is more sanitary for employees and birds and requires limited trips for disposal.
Concrete and Fencing

The farms have better controlled access with an entrance gate that is opened with an electronic keypad.

The use of concrete has been expanded and the concrete extends a minimum of 18 feet beyond the fencing around the barns. This ensures that vehicles are always on concrete after entering the farm site.

The fencing extends to the concrete and is secured with a bar at the bottom. This prevents animals from pushing in the fence to gain access from underneath.

Overall, these new features help us to operate our farms more efficiently and effectively for our people and our birds.