Caring for turkey flocks is around-the-clock work, including special considerations made to guarantee the well-being and health of growing turkeys. Turkey growers routinely patrol barns in search of signs that could prove problematic. Monitoring the flock includes confirming the turkeys have continuous access to fresh water, clean feathers, round, prominent eyes and general curiosity with human interaction.
To ensure animal welfare practices are upheld throughout the industry, the National Turkey Federation works closely with America’s turkey growers, veterinarians and industry experts to develop and maintain strict Standards of Conduct and Animal Care Guidelines for raising healthy birds in a safe environment at every stage of a turkey’s lifecycle. These standards align with ethical treatment of animals, production of wholesome quality meat, respect and value of our workers and the wise use of land and water resources.
However, just like humans, animals sometimes get sick and need further medical attention. Therefore, in addition to the careful eye of the turkey grower, turkey flocks are provided licensed veterinary care to prevent and treat diseases. To ensure proper animal and public health, any medications are administered in a judicious fashion in accordance with the American Association of Avian Pathologist’s Judicious Use Guidelines.
Below NTF answers questions regarding some of the top animal welfare concerns:
The National Turkey Federation does not condone the mistreatment of turkeys. Research proves mistreatment of a turkey would be not only unethical, but also economically detrimental to the grower. It is our belief that happy, healthy turkeys will grow to their full potential and ultimately provide consumers with high-quality, nutritious protein.