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: