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{turkeys- round II}

12.17.12

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You can plan and plan until your fingers bleed and your eyes pop out of your head, but you can’t shove Mother Nature. This year we changed feeds to a more local and all around more natural feed source. We have been thrilled with this small step toward our ultimate feed source goals. The pigs have been doing fantastic, and our layer & broiler chickens have been doing supremely on their new grain supplement mix. But with the turkeys, it was a different story.

Two or three weeks before Thanksgiving Tyler came up from morning chores, and as I looked up from my coffee mug, he said, with distress in voice, “The turkeys are too small… even if we give them all the feed they could ever want and increased the protein of the feed, there still isn’t enough time before Thanksgiving to get them up to proper weight…”

The Thanksgiving turkey is a B.I.G. deal for the average American family holiday tradition. It is the head-honcho, the leading role, the big pooba. And when you have made the commitment to purchasing from a small local family farm that has raised the best turkey you, your family, and guests are ever going to have; it is a little more than disappointing when you get a turkey that is 5-9 pounds smaller than you were planning on. Well, you can imagine our hesitation as we handed out 350 {large chickens} turkeys to loyal and new customers. We weren’t sure if there was going to be tears or blood drawn {just joking- everyone was amazingly understanding, supportive and full of the thanksgiving spirit}. We felt horrible that the nature of the beast of farming had bit us all at such an important meal time.

We had pushed our first delivery date of turkey poults back by two weeks because last year our average turkey weight was 19 pounds! It was the complete opposite problem than this year- we were giving instructions on how to artistically cut a turkey in half so that their 22 pound bird would fit in their apartment oven….

Oh the joys of farming. You can’t plan enough. You can’t change too much at a time. But you can learn from your hiccups to make next time that much more of a success. And you can smile and tell your amazing customers to “have no fear, we’ll have turkeys for Christmas and next year we have made some major changes to our turkey opposition as a whole.”

So tonight I am baking treats for snack time and twelve spectacular butcher crew friends are preparing for our unplanned but necessary Christmas turkey butcher day tomorrow, when we will officially say goodbye to Butcher Season 2012.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. nicky connors permalink
    12.18.12 5:58 AM

    My friends and I shared two of your turkeys, one under twelve pounds and the other under eleven pounds. Both birds were incredibly moist and delicious. I’m an advocate for the smaller birds and thank you for providing them.

  2. Roberta Donaldson permalink
    12.18.12 3:41 PM

    So glad you are my local farmer. the Thanksgiving turkey we had was small but very tasty.
    Hope all the Christmas birds are enjoyed as much.

  3. 12.28.12 10:20 AM

    The farm we were ordering from had to cancel their turkeys all together…they didn’t even come close to making weight…It wasn’t a big deal though, we had a stew rooster in the freezer we had been saving for a pinch so we just did him up fancy instead. So happy your customers understood…probably the best part of this kind of food is that it isn’t cookie-cutter predictable…makes us appreciate our food source that much more.

    • 01.09.13 10:12 AM

      So true! When things don’t go as planned, I have found it is so important to take a minute to pause and really think about all the positive aspects of this unpredictable farming life ;) In order to make it, we farmers have to be able to make lemonade out of lemons and to teach our customers the same mindset. :)

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