Foster Farms Turkey Hatchery Investigation – Industry Facts

Foster Farms Turkey Hatchery Investigation – Industry Facts

Facts About Turkeys & the Turkey Industry:

Did you know … ?
Foster Farms

  • Each year in the U.S., 300 million turkeys are raised and slaughtered each year, and about 45 million turkeys are slaughtered for the holiday season alone.
  • Due to aggressive genetic selection, turkeys are no longer able to mate naturally, and grow unnaturally large excessively quickly. In the 1960s, it took 220 days to raise a 35-pound turkey. Now  it takes only 132 days. This fast growth causes them to suffer from a number of painful chronic health problems.
  • Turkeys are typically raised in dirty warehouse-like sheds with approximately 25,000 other turkeys, and receive about one square foot of space each.
  • Shockingly, there are no federal laws that protect turkeys (or other birds) from the moment they hatch to the moment they’re slaughtered. They’re even exempted from the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.
  • Turkeys can recognize each other by their voices. In fact, more than 20 unique vocalizations have been identified in wild turkeys.
  • Turkeys are incredibly curious animals who enjoy exploring.
  • Turkeys can remember the geographic content of an area larger than 1,000 acres.
  • Wild turkeys can fly 55 miles an hour and run 18 miles an hour.

Foster Farms Facts:

  • Foster Farms is a California-based poultry company that has annual sales exceeding approximately $3 billion. It is one of the top eight turkey producers and top ten chicken producers in the U.S.
  • The facility was recently selected to raise the “2015 National Thanksgiving Turkey,” which will be presented to President Obama for “pardoning” this fall. It previously raised the 2010 Presidential Turkey.
  • Its products are sold at major national retailers including Walmart, Costco, Target, Safeway, Albertson’s and Kroger.
  • Foster Farms advertises its commitment to “humane” treatment of animals and boasts that its chicken is “American Humane Certified.” A recent undercover investigation by Mercy For Animals shows that Foster Farms chickens, like its turkeys, are routinely subjected to shocking abuses.
  • Foster Farms has been plagued with more than its fair share of problems in recent years.  A Foster Farms plant was shut down in 2014 due to a cockroach infestation, and USDA noncompliance records revealed numerous instances of mold and fecal matter contamination.  A Foster Farms’ turkey flock was the first commercial flock to test positive for avian influenza in the U.S. in over a decade, and the company was forced to issue food recalls in 2014 after multiple salmonella outbreaks.