Friday, July 2, 2010

Turkey Day Pre Orders

Its really really really early to think about Thanksgiving turkeys.  However, we have a limited supply and we are likely to have a much greater demand come September than we can potentially meet.  So, if you are interested in purchasing your Thanksgiving turkey from us, please email us NOW so we can reserve a turkey for you.

This year we have Bronze turkeys.  They are almost 2.5 weeks old now and are really doing nicely.  They run and chase bugs, chatter at me, and are generally wonderful little birds.  We will be moving them out onto pasture in another week or week and a half as they feather out.  Because we started them in June and not July, they will be about 24 weeks old when we process them.  To put this in perspective, last year we processed our white turkeys at 15 weeks.  The tom turkeys dressed out at 25-29 pounds each.  The hens last year were 17-21 pounds.    So...we are going to have some BIG turkeys this Thanksgiving.  

I may purchase some more turkey poults from a friend who has heritage birds.  They forage well, but they grow slowly.  The heritage birds have more dark meat, much less breast meat and have a richer, gamey flavor.   I still prefer to eat the Bronze turkeys over the heritage turkeys.  The big difference is whether the birds were raised on pasture or raised in confinement, and not the breed, in my opinion.  Yes, the commercial breeds have been selected to grow incredibly fast and they get so heavy that they cant reproduce.  However,  they are hybrid birds and you wouldnt want to keep them as breeding stock anyway.

If you want a smaller bird to fry, let me know ASAP so I can reserve a heritage bird for you.  They are more expensive, but they are smaller.  $6.50 a pound for Heritage Turkey.  $4.50 a pound for our Bronze Turkeys.  The Bronze will be pretty darn big by Thanksgiving.  If you want a smaller bird, we can process them sooner and freeze them.  They will be tender and wonderful for Thanksgiving after you thaw them.   If you want a big old fashioned roaster and lots of leftovers, well, then our Bronze birds are for you!

Mmm...leftover turkey...

Cant wait!


LindaG said...

They sound really good. Can't use a really big turkey any more.
I didn't know that about the meat on heritage birds. Thanks for the information.
Wish I lived closer. Good luck with sales and have a great weekend! :) said...

The heritage type birds are tasty. They have a very deep keel or breast bone and very little breast meat. Big drumsticks and thighs. The dark meat is fantastic, the breast meat is skimpy. And they are more expensive.

The biggest argument I can see for the heritage breeds is that they are the turkeys that our grandparents used to eat. But really, the heritage breeds are simply breeds that never did well enough in a commercial model to make anyone any money. So, instead, hybrid birds were selected for so that they would grow faster on less feed and have double muscling in the breast for more meat.

Honestly, I understand the argument for slow growing birds. Unfortunately, that also means they are much less profitable. And in my opinion, they dont necessarily taste THAT much better to justify the expense.

Raising the birds on pasture makes the biggest impact on flavor and health of the birds. They will grow slower in general when raised on pasture. Diet and environment are more important than breed of bird, to me anyway.

LindaG said...

We will definitely want birds that do well in a pasture environment, with moderate feed as we will be retired and on smaller income.

Your comment about our grandparents helps me realize why the turkey legs seemed so much bigger then, haha. :)

If hybrid birds can be raised on pasture then I think that is what we'll look at when we finally try one or two on our own. I know his family raised some turkeys. Right now we're trying to read and learn all we can. :)
Thanks again for all the information!