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Jaindl Farms: Talking Turkey

Jaindl Farms in Orefield sells about 400,000 turkeys at Thanksgiving, and 750,000 annually.

Jaindl Farms is not as much about turkeys as it is family.

David Jaindl, 55, purchased the Orefield farm in 2005, continuing the 75-year tradition of raising the same premium turkey as his late father and grandfather.

The Jaindl family has always looked for new ideas and a better way to breed, hatch, grow and feed turkeys.

It’s paid off by making Jaindl the largest family-owned turkey producer in the country, putting their birds on the President’s Thanksgiving table since 1962.

David Jaindl recently “talked turkey” and released some interesting facts about Jaindl Farms:

Q: How many turkeys do you sell for Thanksgiving?

Jaindl: About 400,000 to customers. We sell another 100,000 for Christmas. And 750,000 annually. We have sold slightly more this year, but the cost of feed is higher than last year.

Q: How many acres does Jaindl Farms own?

Jaindl: We own 11,000 acres and we farm about 10,000 acres.

Q: Where is your retail store?

Jaindl: On Coffeetown Road in Orefield, next to our processing plant.

Q: What sales trends are you seeing for the holiday?

Jaindl: We have adequate supplies for retail and wholesale. Jaindl has expanded on organic turkeys for sale in 2011.

Q: What is your best seller?

Jaindl: The Grand Champion, which is most popular for consumers at 12 to 18 pounds. Others we sell are the free range, organic and antibiotic-free.

Q: Where are the turkeys raised and processed?

Jaindl: All of them are in North or South Whitehall townships in nine separate grow-out farms within 1½ miles of the processing plant in Orefield.

Q: Is there anything new or different about turkey farming this year?

Jaindl: It’s a lot more than Thanksgiving. We start the growing process in December, getting ready for the next Thanksgiving. The turkeys start hatching in February.

Q: What makes a Jaindl turkey stand out?

Jaindl: It’s the breeding. It has a broader breast, more white meat, and more edible meat per pound. It’s grown on a traditional farm and we’re totally integrated. We grow the grains, we breed the turkeys, we hatch the turkeys, we grow the turkey and then we process and distribute the turkeys.

Q: Who was the first President to receive a Jaindl bird at Thanksgiving?

Jaindl: John Kennedy. My dad (Fred) entered his breed into a contest with the National Turkey Federation and won. We’ve been sending them to the President ever since.

Here's where you can buy Jaindl turkeys in our area:

Lower Macungie

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Emmaus

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Nancy O'Keefe November 26, 2011 at 11:57 AM
My husband, Dr. Joe Colosi, took his environmental science class to visit the Jaindl turkey farm in early fall. I'm so pleased that Patch did this story, because the impressions that Joe shared with me about the Jaindl turkey operation were outstanding in terms of cleanliness, efficiency, the humane treatment of the animals, efforts at minimal impact on the environment, and efforts to recycle waste. The students were equally impressed and left the farm with a favorable view of the Jaindl turkey operation.

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