Barn Spotlight: Hillsvale Colony
By Brett RuffellFeatures Poultry Equipment Producers barn spotlight Big Dutchman
A look inside a new all-in, all-out turkey barn.
Location: Cut Knife, Sask.
Hillsvale Colony is a big farming community. They raise dairy and beef cows, pigs, layers and recently started producing turkeys, which they ship to Sofina. They provide fresh market birds for Christmas and Thanksgiving and freezer birds for around easter. Martin Wurz manages the turkey barn with help from two assistants.
The colony had long been wanting to get into turkey production. In early 2020, they got the opportunity to do so. That’s when they bought turkey quota from Clarke’s Turkey Farm in Esterhazy, Sask. Clarke’s agreed to raise turkeys for the colony for one year while they built a new turkey barn. The colony worked with Big Dutchman on the facility, which they opened last year.
The 60 ft. by 400 ft. facility is an all-in, all-out turkey barn. They keep their flock in the brooder part of the barn for roughly 30 to 35 days. At that point, they open some panels and give them access to the rest of the barn. “We find by doing that there’s absolutely zero stress in the birds when you go to move them,” Wurz says. “They just transition to the new part of the barn.” As part of that process, they have separate feed and waterlines for brooding and finishing. For ventilation during the brooding phase, they use sidewall inlets because they’re quieter. They then transition to tunnel ventilation at the finishing stage.
Barn Spotlight highlights new and renovated barns and hatcheries. Do you know of a good candidate to be featured? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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