Feed Mill Operation

Turkey production is very extensive, and profit margins are low. Feed is the most expensive component in raising turkeys and has a major effect on the performance of the flock and finished product quality. Therefore, a strict economically and scientifically based diet is needed. The feed mill formulates various grains and other ingredients on a least-cost basis for sound diets that are the most economical for that day. Four to eight different formulas are used regularly during the bird's lifetime. However, the ingredient composition of each formula may be changed frequently.

When processing time arrives, the birds are placed in transport cages and transported by truck to the processing plant (see the article Poultry meat processing and product technology). The entire growing barn is evacuated at the same time and then is cleaned, sanitized, and prepared for the next flock. Turkeys are now produced worldwide. However, large-scale production is still conducted according to historical development lines in North America and Europe (Table 10). The United States,

Table 10. Worldwide Turkey Meat Production (1997)

Metric tons

World production 4,740,050

North and central america 2,653,310

Europe 1,777,270

South America 144,594

Asia 111,984

Africa 34,856

Oceania 18,036

Source: World Health Organization.

France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany are the top producers (Table 11). Consumption follows production patterns with a single surprise, as Israel tops world consumption with 27.8 lb per capita in 1998 (Table 8).

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