Edward has been growing turkeys since 2008. “I had experience with poultry as a helper before so when they asked me to be Turkey Manager I was excited to take on that role. I did not have a mentor so I had to learn everything about turkeys on my own; and quickly too!” Through his own innovation and self-education Edward has developed a very successful turkey growing operation.
“The great thing I found about this industry is that there was always someone who would help me if I had any questions. Other producers, feed company representatives and veterinarians all did what they could to help me out. That’s one of the great things about the quota system – no one is competing for market share so we are happy to help each other problem solve.” Edward says. “The experience of that kind of community mindset was a lifesaver for me.”
Edwards’ turkey barn is designed to raise both hens (females) and toms (males). He has one central brooding barn; where each new flock of poults (baby turkeys) are placed upon arrival on his farm. Once the birds reach the appropriate age they are moved into either the tom or hen barn. “Toms and hens grow differently and require unique care, so we wanted to make the barns as specific as we could. That way the birds’ needs are sure to be met.” Edward says about the barn he helped to design. “We created special walls between the barns so that moving the birds creates as little stress for the birds as possible”
Edward has also built his own feed mill so that he can mix his own feed for his turkeys. “I like to know exactly what is going in my turkeys’ feed,” he says. “It allows me to fine tune the food to each flock. I like to add natural compounds; like an oregano compound which is a great natural antibacterial compound. I find that it’s a great way to help my flocks stay healthy.”
Being part of the supply management system allows Edward to have consistency and predictability in his farming operation. “Being able to plan in advance allows me to focus on the birds. I know what kind of new equipment and machinery I can invest in because I have a predictable return.” Edward says he spends lots of time chatting with other producers and industry professionals in order to make sure he is producing the best turkeys he possibly can. “I am proud to say that I am an Alberta Turkey Producer and that I can provide a lean, healthy meat to other Alberta Families; and to know that every day I try to better my product.”