MC: Yes. I think I’m on track. But is the Nicholas the one that has the leg problems you said?
FM: They do, but they have changed that and what you’re looking for in a turkey is breast yield. The more the breast meat is the most expensive meat on a turkey. Americans like white meat. Most of our dark meat is exported to Mexico. The more breast meat you can get, on the same bird, the more money you will make.
MC: That makes sense.
MC: So are there any problems with the breed you have encountered besides the leg problems?
FM: No, I mean you have normal problems.
MC: What are some normal problems.
FM: Oh gracious, well you have disease issues basically all the time. It’s like in the winter time when people catch the flu and well you go to school, you know all about it. It seems if a couple people in your class get sick, it’s a chance you might. It’s the same way with poultry. If you have one that gets sic or a couple it can spread through the house. You have some respiratory problems. Basically air sac. That’s probably one of the most touchy things in the poultry industry and that’s kind of complicated. Do you want me to explain some of it or?
MC: Well what do you mean it’s one of the “most touchy” things?
FM: A turkey’s lungs are about the size of this battery. But yet they weigh when they go to market, the birds we’re selling weigh forty pounds. And the reason for that is a bird was meant to fly. All birds have small lungs so that they, if you would do an autopsy on a person or a cow or any animal that doesn’t fly, our lungs are huge. Well what they have inside of them is air sacs, all through their body and it’s places where they store air. So when they’re flying (moves arms like a bird’s wings), which these birds obviously don’t fly, but they still have small lungs, very small lungs for the size bird or size animal. And I don’t know, it’s just, you get problems, respiratory problems.
MC: I read in the paper today that there’s a strain of avian flu, in the DNR they wrote about that. Have you had any experiences with?
FM: Yes, twice.