Preparing for Thanksgiving

Guest Writer: Kayla Batty

Although it feels like the holidays just got over, for farmers, it’s just time to start thinking about it again. We will order our first set Heritage Turkeys will show up in April, with the broad-breasted arriving in July and August. If you live in Utah and are interested in purchasing a turkey, please fill out and follow the instructions on THIS FORM, and we will get you on our list.

Strutting Tom

Tom is 1/2 of our newest venture: Heritage Turkey Breeding Program. He’s been strutting his stuff since he survived last year’s Thanksgiving.

Heritage Turkeys take twice as long to raise. They require about 20% more feed per pound of growth compared to their broad-breasted counterparts. Because they cost us more to raise, they cost more for consumers. Last year we lost money on about 25% of the heritage turkeys we raised, and broke even with the rest. Because we want provide our customers with what they want, we will continue to raise them, but, for now, have to raise the price to $8.50 per pound in order to cover our costs.

Heritage Turkeys ordered after May 10th will be at additional $0.50 per pound. So be sure to order now!

The broad-breasted turkeys are what you often find in the store. They have been bred to be heavier birds, with up to 4 times more meat. They grow quickly, and can gain a pound for every pound of grain they eat. Last year we had our biggest turkeys average 34 pounds dressed out. This year we will be ordering them to arrive a couple of weeks later, in the hope of driving that size down to a more useable (and cookable) size. Have you ever tried to cook at 35 pound turkey? We have for the last 4 or so years, and even with a giant roaster-pan, we have to get creative and build our own lid. And even with our rather large family, we still have weeks of left-overs! These turkeys are easier and faster to raise, so as of right now, they price will be $5.25 per pound, but if everything goes well, could possible drop before Thanksgiving.

This year we are also adding a service charge for fresh-delivered turkeys the weekend before Thanksgiving. While we understand that many of our customers want fresh, never frozen turkeys, our small processing crew and transportation options limit our ability to provide this to everyone. To increase the probability of the meat staying good for the days preceding Thanksgiving, we have to move our Processing day from the usual Wednesday to Thursday. This might not seem like a big deal, but it means that our crew, who work around other jobs, can’t all be there. It also means a very early morning bagging birds on Friday with an even smaller, skeleton crew, so that the trailer can be packed and ready to go by Friday night. The first 100 turkeys reserved as “fresh for Thanksgiving” will be an additional $20.00 to help us pay for added expenses, stress, and hopefully extra help.

Anyone who just wants a good, clean, tasty turkey, but doesn’t necessarily care if it is frozen, we will be reducing the price of all the turkeys delivered the last weekend in October by $5.00.

Posted in Farmer's Markets, Farming, Meat Production Tagged with: , , , , ,
One comment on “Preparing for Thanksgiving
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