Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Turkeys, Turkeys, Turkeys

I have a background in raising meat animals but this is the first time we will be raising meat animals for sale. We will be raising heritage turkeys for Thanksgiving. We already have the facilities ready for raising them, including pasture rearing for good grass-n-grub fed gobblers. Most turkeys are raised to be ready for the table by 14-16 weeks, not to mention they are bred to just eat, eat, eat. Gobbling up grain and getting fatty. Ours will be growing slower, out on the pasture as they get old enough and forage. This will allow for the meat to still be tender but also moist. Our turkeys will be 20-22 weeks old when we process them out. We will be processing the weekend right before Thanksgiving so if your bird is for Turkey Day, it will be fresh, fresh, fresh!

We will be using this blog to keep you posted on the progress, from hatch to harvest as we say. I know it is important to a lot of Oregonians to know where their food comes from. We intend to be transparent about the growth of our turkeys. As with all of our animals they will be fed a vegetarian diet of grass, and other things they find, supplemented heavily by fresh fruit and vegetables. We also will supplement with grain but we are fortunate to have a local feed supply that ensures their diets are hormone and antibiotic free. We will be raising them as we do the rest of our flock – with the utmost care and compassion. How an animal is treated while it is alive is just as important to us as how it is treated in the end. We take a lot of care in giving our laying hens the best life we can and will ensure we do the same for the turkeys. And you’ll be able to see pictures all along the way, so you’ll know they are actually outside and enjoying the warm summer days and the crisp apples of fall. (Sorry, I can be a bit corny, but really they will be given all of the fallen apples we have from the 12-14 apples trees as well as garden scraps, and pumpkins – oh boy do they love pumpkins.)

We will be selling the turkeys “live and whole.” You can pick up your bird and process it yourself, OR we can process the birds complimentary the weekend before Thanksgiving. This way you have a fresh-never-frozen turkey for the dinner table. I was taught how to butcher humanely and will be assisted by family members to assure the safety and sanitation of processing. We will be renting professional equipment I have used before so the birds are the highest quality for your family celebrations. We will be accepting up to 50 reservations with a down payment of $25. This will help pay for the upfront feed costs throughout the summer. We will also have a waiting list for those unable to reserve a bird. Based on current feed costs we estimate it will cost us about $3/lb to produce the turkeys. We don’t intend to make a profit as we are still growing as a farm and learning more and more every day. If you are interested in reserving your Thanksgiving bird already, please email us at

(To our long distance friends across state lines, we cannot ship the turkeys live or processed and cannot transport across state lines for you. It would be your responsibility to check with a local extension service agent regarding bringing live poultry into your state from Oregon.)

Peace, Love, and Scrambled Eggs,