No 'Cold Turkeys' When Temperatures Soar
Posted July 19, 1999
DUPLIN COUNTY — People are not the only ones who suffer when the temperature rises. Animals also feel the heat.
Turkeys are worth millions to North Carolina's economy, but they will be worthless if they die in the heat.
Farmers are putting in extra hours to keep the animals alive.
"When it gets up there around a hundred, they just can't take it. We try to drive around and spray them about every hour," said farmer Lenwood Benson.
When it gets hot, keeping the turkeys cool is Benson's main concern. He will spray the turkey houses ten times a day until the heat backs down.
Each day, Benson will spray about 3,000 gallons of water. Farmers also rely on open houses and heavy-duty fans.
"I don't think they sweat. That's the trouble. They can't sweat," said Benson.
The work is not easy. Benson does not get a break until the sun goes down, because the heat lingers into the evenings.
Benson knows he may not slow down for months.
"That's about all you can do. You can leave them, but they will be dead when you come back, and I can't tote them out. I have got to try to keep them cool," said Benson.