Reflections on Our Trip To a Modern Poultry Farm

By Christopher R. Raines

Every summer, incoming freshmen students at Penn State’s University Park campus have the opportunity to participate in a LEAP (Learning Edge Academic Program) in agriculture. Most of the participants are ag science (agronomy, animal science, horticulture, etc.) students, but some students from other colleges enter the Ag LEAP program. This year I had the fortunate opportunity to go with this group to a large turkey farm. At this particular farm, there were approximately 20,000 two-week-old female turkeys pecking and running about the barn floor.  At the farm, students learned about the intricacies of raising turkeys, how and what they’re fed, their behaviors, and other different items pertinent to poultry production. After the trip to the farm and doffing our shoe covers, overalls and hairnets, we visited a commercial poultry slaughter and production facility. There, after washing our hands and donning new smocks and hairnets, the students watched the chicken transformation – from live bird to packaged chicken breasts and tenders. The questions asked at the end of the trip indicated an awe and almost fascination among the students. After getting back in the van to come back to University Park, I asked: “What did you think of the ‘factory farm‘?” … let the head-scratching commence, followed by a few blank stares … The responses were varied and included: (1) “But a family operated it,” (2) “But that place was so clean,” and (3) “That was cool!” To help visualize what we observed, see the video below about modern chicken raising …

Oh, and most (probably 90%) of the participants had never been to a large poultry farm. Good trip.

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One thought on “Reflections on Our Trip To a Modern Poultry Farm

  1. Pingback: Reflections on Our Trip To a Modern Poultry Farm | meatblogger.org | Chicken Feeds Suppliers

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