Bird flu still affecting Minnesota turkey production
WILLMAR, Minn. – With nearly 3 million turkeys normally born each month at Willmar Poultry’s hatchery, the chorus of chirping never ceases. Even for the bird flu.
Still, like the poultry industry as a whole, the lethal virus has left its mark here on one of the nation’s biggest turkey hatcheries. Production is currently down 20 percent because the flu hit the breeder farms that provide the eggs.
With fewer eggs in the system, Willmar is producing fewer poults — or baby turkeys — to ship to farms. So, it’s harder to restock after the H5N2 flu this spring erased 10 percent of Minnesota’s annual turkey production.