Virtual Field Trip to Fahlun Farms

Did you know that Minnesota is #1 in turkey production?  On this virtual field trip, we visit Fahlun Farms near Lake Lillian, MN to learn how turkeys are raised on a Minnesota farm.

Jake Vlaminck is the host for this virtual field trip.  Jake is a turkey farmer at Fahlun Farms. Jake’s father-in-law started raising turkeys about 60 years ago and he wanted to continue to have his children raise turkeys. Jake's father-in-law purchased a set of barns and asked Jake if he would like to help run the family farm. Jake has been raising turkeys for seven years.

About Fahlun Farms

Fahlun farms has four barns and raises about 240,000 turkeys a year. They raise tom turkeys which are male turkeys.  These tom turkeys are raised for ground turkey or other products like turkey bacon, sausage, and deli meats. During the field trip, Jake introduced us to tom turkeys that are around eight pounds. These tom turkeys will go to market when they are about 40 pounds and 53 days old.

Unique Parts of a Turkey

One of the parts of a turkey is a snood. It is a piece of skin that starts right around their eyes and hangs below their beak. As they get older it will get bigger.  This snood helps to regulate body temperature. If the turkey is warm, the snood will get long and help dissipate body heat. Turkeys also have fleshy material right below their beak called the crop.  When turkeys eat the food goes into their crop to get ground up before it goes into their stomach.  Turkeys don’t have teeth, so the crop breaks up food, sort of like human teeth.


Turkeys eat a mixture of corn, soybean, and fats. These ingredients are formed into small pellets that are in a machine called a hopper at the end of the barn.  A mechanical system moves the feed from the hopper using feed lines.  These feed lines go from one end of the barn all the way to the other end. The turkeys have access to automatic feeders, so they can eat whenever they want. They also have access to automatic waterers so they can drink whenever they want. Some turkeys will drink a gallon of water per day.

To learn more about how turkeys are raised on Fahlun Farms, watch the virtual field trip.

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