After repeated requests from the public for tours of Jaindl Farms in Orefield, David Jaindl said he decided to invite people to see his family's turkey farm up close.
On Saturday, Oct. 27, about 225 people took one of five tours and Patch was there for the first tour of the day at 8 a.m. People seemed excited to get an up-close look at the largest family-owned turkey producer in the country.
The first stop was a visit to the organic, free-range turkeys. They seemed just as curious to see us and hurried closer as we approached their pens. Jaindl, who purchased the Orefield farm in 2005, personally led the tour and answered questions along the way.
This year, production is up from 750,000 turkeys to 1 million because the number of breeders was high. Some other interesting facts learned on the tour were:
- 2,700 acres of manure from turkeys is spread each year.
- Turkeys consume 1,600 tons of feed per week, most of which is grown and processed at Jaindl Farms.
- The Jaindl's farm 10,000 acres, including corn, soybeans and apple orchards.
- 80 percent of turkeys are distributed in the Northeast. However, three years ago a demand for Jaindl turkeys started in Japan and last year Jaindl shipped 15,000. Japanese buyers actually visited recently to see the farm for themselves.
- Jaindl is endorsed by the Humane Society because turkeys are processed with nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide - which causes a suffocation feeling.
- 100 full-time employees and 60-70 seasonal employees work at Jaindl Farms. Fourteen of them are family.
- One silo of dried corn will feed 285,000 turkeys.
- When the hatchery is up and running as many as 70,000 turkeys are hatched a week. On any given day there are 14,000 eggs.
- Two 30-pound Jaindl turkeys are sent to White House every year. Presidents have enjoyed their product since President John F. Kennedy was in the White House.
- The Jaindls produce their own biofuel to sell and to use for their farm equipment.
- Fred Jaindl, David's father, was an expert breeder and learned to breed a broader breasted turkey. The Jaindls call it their Grand Champion brand and it's still their most popular seller.