Friday, September 22, 2006


I have two varieties of turkeys. Broad Breasted Bronze and Broad Breasted White. They are supposed to be good Thanksgiving turkeys because they grow very large, very fast.

I bought them last spring from a local farm supply store because I didn't have a big enough order to get them through the mail. I thought April would be a good time to get them, that way they would be sure to be big enough by November. Turns out it was more than enough time. These babies are ready NOW. They are huge. They can hardly walk. They are begging to be eaten. Not really.

I brought home 11 turklings--which look very much like baby chicks, just bigger--and 9 of them survived babyhood. Apparently turkeys are a little more fragile as babies than chickens. In my experience, broiler chicks are way harder to keep alive than turkeys.

Anyway, I have decided I like turkeys. I don't want to see them go. All of them are spoken for--7 to customers, 1 for my mother in law, and 1 for my family. At $2.00 a pound they should cost between $40-$60 PER TURKEY. I was thinking --Good grief, I would never pay that much for a turkey-- But then I looked at my records and figured out that I have already spent about $38/turkey so far. So much for cheaper, home grown food. Turkey feed is more expensive than chicken food, and they eat a lot of it.

Next year I am going to do some things differently:

  1. Buy the turkeys in June or July. They may not get to 30# but not many people want a turkey that big anyway.

  2. Don't fall into the expensive food trap. They can have the $13/bag food when they are little then we will move to the $9/bag food. That, combined with a shorter time raising them, should cut my cost to where I can keep the price the same and maybe make a little money.

  3. Order some heritage types of turkeys. Then I can keep some and hatch turkeys from eggs. They don't get near as big but not everyone wants a humongous turkey.

Turkeys are so great. Everyone should have one.

1 comment:

KarenK said...

I want to get a turkey from you next time too! A small one. I remember raising a turkey that was so large that we had to cut it in half - I roasted one half in the inside oven and your dad roasted the other half in the woodstove in the washroom outbuilding! Yummmm.