*
f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Mystery Solved: Turkey Farm

Posted Thursday, November 25, 2010, at 8:30 PM

G.D. Fronabarger, also known as One Shot Frony, took several pictures, including this one, on a turkey farm near Sedgewickville, Mo. for the Nov. 22, 1961 edition of the Southeast Missourian. From the story below, we learn that the little girl is Tammy Barks, 3, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur L. Barks, owners of the turkey farm. She is probably standing with her mother. They are shown in a similar photo that was published.

Sedgewickville Grows Turkeys

Turkey Day, plus all its attractive foods, is just hours away and as people sit down to the burdened festive board, hardly ever is a thought given as to where all this delicious turkey meat comes from and how it is processed.

There are huge turkey ranches and lesser producers all over the country, and one of the important producers is right here within 35 miles of Cape Girardeau. Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur L. Barks, in the turkey production business for 12 years, are now shipping out the bulk of their 5000-bird flock from their farm just west of Sedgewickville.

These are big toms, the bronze Keithly variety and their numbers virtually cover the landscape. All of the birds, and they average 31 to 34 pounds per bird as they are loaded out, go to the St. Louis markets and from there find their way to tables everywhere. Some of the flock has been shipped out for Thanksgiving and the remainder will go out for Christmas.

It takes 25 weeks to produce a big, marketable tom from the time he is received as a few-hours-old poult. In that time the hens, under a menu of cracked corn and supplementary ration, expand to around 18 pounds and the toms to between 30 and 35 pounds. The Barks order their poults from hatcheries.

Shown here is a portion of the huge Bollinger County flock on a hillside just opposite the old Dulles mill on Whitewater Creek.

It was up to Tammy Barks, 3, to select one for the Barks family table, but there were so many birds it was a tough decision for a little girl.

And, do these birds eat. The flock, at maturity, consumes two tons of food daily.

Comments

View 5 comments or respond
Community discussion is important, and we encourage you to participate as a reader and commenter. Click here to see our Guidelines. We also encourage registered users to let us know if they see something inappropriate on our site. You can do that by clicking "Report Comment" below.
  • at first i thought the little kid was just another turkey...wow thats a lot of turkey

    -- Posted by TommyStix on Wed, Nov 24, 2010, at 8:40 AM
  • Imagine, all those birds losing their heads.

    -- Posted by voyager on Wed, Nov 24, 2010, at 8:50 AM
  • I can hear Frony growling, "OK, now, don't anybody move I'm only taking one shot."

    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Wed, Nov 24, 2010, at 10:33 AM
  • HA! Hate to admit it, TOMMY---but I thought the same exact thing!

    Oh RICK---how "dry"! But, GOOD one!

    So THAT'S how they grow 'em! They plant the EGGS, an' they grow-out kinda like cabbages, huh....???☺!

    -- Posted by donknome-2 on Wed, Nov 24, 2010, at 11:10 AM
  • Thanks to some friends from high school for forwarding the picture to me. Yes, that is me Tammy Barks and my Mom Ruth. All I remember is being scared silly of all those Turkey's.

    -- Posted by TKBLK on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 6:00 PM