The turkey flock of 2024 has arrived

Treway Turkey Arrives

On Thursday we took delivery of our day old turkey poults (poults is the turkey name for chicks!) which means the countdown to Christmas is firmly on at Treway HQ! They have quite the journey from the hatchery in Essex down to the farm in Cornwall. The birds travel brilliantly in their boxes which are transported in a temperature controlled van.

Last week was really very busy preparing for their arrival as we have to turn a cattle shed into a sealed, draft free turkey brooding shed. This involves building a temporary wall, hanging a temporary door, lining the shed to stop any drafts and adding an electric fence wire to the outside of the shed to keep them safe from any hungry wildlife!

We then construct the hoop shaped pens using boards and bed up with wood shavings which make the perfect bedding material.

Turkeys like to be kept at a very toasty 37 degrees C so we use gas ‘brooders’ which throw out the heat across each pen. We monitor the temperature of the pens using a thermometer and by monitoring the turkeys behaviour. To warm and the turkeys will be around the edge of the pens where it is cooler, to cold and the birds will be huddled in the centre of the pen under the brooder. If the temperature is correct you will find birds spread across the pen being busy eating, drinking and snoozing. A lot like any young animals they have a burst of energy, a bit of food and then zonk out for a nap!

Turkeys are notoriously difficult to rear in the first couple of weeks as they seem to have a constant will to not live given half the chance! With that in mind absolutely everything that we use to build the brooding shed, the pens, the feeders, the drinkers and all associated buckets and feed scoops have to be fully cleaned and disinfected before they can be used. This is quite the operation but luckily the mini farmers worked like champs to help us. Will and I were on scrubbing and disinfecting, Charlie on rinsing and Flora on stacking the clean items. There is always something special when everyone is working together to get the job done.

Setting up the pens with the feeders and drinkers always seems to take much longer than we ever remember so we were beavering away all day on Thursday before the birds arrived in the evening!

Getting 2100 poults set in the right pens is no mean feat and once again Charlie and Flora were absolutely brilliant carefully unboxing the turkeys.

Everyone was very excited and there is no better sight than all the poults set in their pens and no better sound than the ‘peeping’ of happy poults.

The past few days have been filled with very regular turkey checks, we seem to be up and down there like yo yos just making sure everything is spot on!

I will be keeping the blogs updated throughout the turkey season so you can follow along and see what goes into producing our beautiful bronze birds for Christmas.