Researchers in Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station are now looking at feeding corn distillers grains to turkeys.
Five barns occupy the turkey field-research site in UMore Park, Minnesota, which also serves as a testing ground for about 7,600 birds.
According to extension poultry specialist Sally Noll, researchers are looking at feeding corn distillers grains to turkeys, which is a by-product of ethanol production. While distilled corn is less nutritious, Noll believes that turkeys can still have a diet of up to 30% of the ethanol byproduct.
“Turkey production is really important to the state economically,” Noll said, adding that it is the largest turkey producer in the country, supplying 46 million birds each year.
“We need to be involved in terms of helping the industry solve some of its problems,” she said, noting that results could help producers be more cost-efficient now that corn prices are increasing. This is particularly true considering a tom turkey eats 120 pounds of feed in his lifetime, and a hen eats about 35 pounds of feed.