The basic process of growing turkeys has changed very little over the past 50 years. Circle S Ranch buys baby turkeys (called “Poults”) from various hatcheries when they are a day old and places them on a brood farm. After about five weeks the young turkeys are moved from the brood farm to a finishing farm. The reason for moving turkeys is threefold: 1) young turkeys require heat from a brooder (a natural gas or propane heater) to maintain proper body temperature; 2) as turkeys grow from a few ounces to 40-50 pounds they require more square footage and larger feeders and waterers; and 3) disease prevention by keeping all of the turkeys on a farm the same age.
The technology utilized in caring for turkeys has changed dramatically. Circle S Ranch utilizes both conventional open sided and modern tunnel ventilated poultry houses. The goal is to provide clean food and water together with proper ventilation. Ventilation is important to maintain temperature–cool in the summer and warm in the winter–and fresh air for the turkeys to breath. Modern controllers (ie computers) are used to monitor and adjust the conditions in the turkey houses and notify the grower if any parameter is out of tolerance.
Circle S Ranch employees a group of service technicians who are responsible for monitoring turkey health and welfare and assisting both company employees and contract growers to implement proper animal husbandry.