Poultry farmers in drought stricken areas are trying to protect their investments but some significant losses are beginning to be reported due to the heat.
In Iowa, Gretta Irwin, executive director of the Iowa Turkey Federation, tells Brownfield there have been a few losses among their turkey farmers who are doing everything they can to cool their birds.
“A lot of them will be in the barns, family members will be in the barns, walking through the barns to help make turkeys stand up. That helps them to release more heat. A lot of them have been put in sprinklers so they’re applying water directly on to the turkeys. That helps the turkeys to quote, ‘sweat’. Since they’re poultry they do not have sweat glands.”
Irwin says they’re taking advantage of any breeze and fans throughout the turkey barns to also cool things down. For turkey farmers, she says, it’s “all hands on deck.”
She says this kind of heat stress is uncommon for the state of Iowa. The Iowa Turkey Federation is made up of 148 operations with 11 Million turkeys.