While several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza are reported in commercial Iowa turkey flocks in recent days, officials with the Iowa Turkey Federation says the turkey supply is safe and there will be plenty of birds for roasting at Thanksgiving. Morgan Pothoven, spokeswoman for the Ames-based organization, says Iowa producers are striving to ensure their flocks and consumers are protected from bird flu.
State ag officials say migrating wild birds are the likely source of the bird flu outbreaks. Despite the setbacks where outbreaks were confirmed, Pothoven anticipates there will be an ample supply of turkeys for the big holiday later this month.
Most of the turkeys that are raised in Iowa are used for products like sliced sandwich meats, not the type of whole bird you’d put in the oven at Thanksgiving.
Iowa is the nation’s seventh largest turkey producer with an estimated 12 million birds raised here each year.