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On this virtual field trip, you’ll meet Hunter Kvistad, a Minnesota turkey farmer and get to see his turkey farm, learn all about how turkeys are cared for, what they eat, where they live, and how turkey farmers care for their birds. This 30-minute virtual field trip is targeted for K-5 students.

About Kvistad Turkeys

Kvistad Turkeys is a third generation turkey farm in Wood Lake, Minnesota. Owner and farmer, Hunter Kvistad, started the farm in 2020. The first turkeys arrived in September of 2021. One flock at Kvistad Turkeys is 40,000 turkeys. These hens (female turkeys) are raised and processed to be eaten on Thanksgiving and throughout the year.

Service Room

The service room is where all the tools and equipment for the farm live. At Kvistad Turkeys, the controller provides Hunter with lots of information including how much water his turkeys drank in the last 24 hours, how much feed was eaten in the last 24 hours, air ventilation and temperatures throughout the barn. During the virtual field trip filming, the turkeys had eaten 9 tons of feed.

The Tour of a Kvistad Turkeys Barn

The poults (baby turkeys) arrive to Kvistad Turkeys about 12 hours old after hatching. They come from hatcheries across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Hunter raises the birds to 12 weeks old. Then the birds are sold to Jennie-O in Melrose, Minnesota to be processed.

Clean boots and hands help keep the birds safe and healthy. Before entering a barn, clean boots need to be put on as a biosecurity practice (procedures to protect the turkeys from potential disease). The barn toured on the virtual field trip is 944 feet long, which is the length of three football fields back to back. The birds in the barn were 7 weeks old hens that will be raised to 12 weeks before sold to market.

The barn is equipped with multiple feed and water lines. The feed line is an automatic feeder that feeds a ration of Minnesota grown corn and soybeans along with minerals and vitamins. It takes about two pounds of feed to equal about one pound of meat on turkey. A 12-15 pound turkey will equal about a 11-13 pound turkey on the table at Thanksgiving.

To learn more about our visit to the Kvistad Turkeys farm, watch our virtual field trip video in the link above.

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