Aviagen Turkeys, Lewisburg, W.V., announced plans to open a new pedigree farm in West Virginia.
The $3.5 million facility includes many health and welfare features, and will house pedigree turkey poults starting in mid-June.
“Finding the right site is the critical first step in building a new farm. In order to help prevent the introduction of pathogens, the farm must be away from other poultry operations and ideally away from any other livestock. It takes time, but we found the right combination here in Monroe County,” says Curt Brammer, vice president of operations.
The farm includes an entrance building with showers, break room, laundry and storage. All employees must shower before entering and exiting the facility and wear farm clothing, therefore the entrance plays a key role in the biosecurity of the farm. Once showered in, there is access to the three 60x468-foot barns on the site. Each barn will receive up to 10,000 pedigree turkey poults, which will be raised on the farm for 30 weeks before moving to a lay farm.
“When designing a turkey farm, it is important to minimize the places where dust can enter the buildings, and the facility must be easily cleaned and disinfected,” says Brammer. “Concrete is used extensively throughout the site because it is easy to clean and it helps to create a barrier for rodents and other wildlife.”
"As a primary breeder raising pedigree turkeys, it is very important that we have the proper facilities to supply our customers with birds that are robust and salmonella clean,” adds Jihad Douglas, president. “As a consequence, we must continuously invest in our infrastructure. We finished a similar facility a few years ago, and we have purchased land and will soon start work on the third new farm. These investments are essential to maintain our leadership in supplying the turkey protein industry with the leading genetics for a safe and healthy food chain.”