Anyone think it is too soon to be planning your thanksgiving meal??
Before we started this business I definitely would have been like “who thinks about thanksgiving in August?” Well, the answer to that question is, your rancher does. That is because it takes 4 months to grow turkeys and we must plan even further ahead than that to make sure we can get turkeys and that they can get processed.
So, these thanksgiving turkeys have been in our minds and on our schedule since January. Blows my mind I was able to plan that far ahead HA!
We almost had a problem when the hatchery we get the turkeys from called a week before the turkeys were due to arrive and informed us, they wouldn’t be sending turkeys this year. Really could have been a bad deal! Thankfully, the hatchery that they get the eggs from was able to ship us 100 toms. That was a bit worrisome for a minute though, Cameron has been looking forward to these turkeys since last year!
While turkeys are similar to chicken in that they are both poultry, the similarities seem to end there. Turkeys seem to be far tougher than chickens and really love to interact with humans. One of us goes into their brooder multiple times a day to check on them and just talk to them. They love it! That might seem weird to some people but it’s not unusual to hear us talking to all the animals around here.
They also take 2x as long to grow and prefer hotter temperatures than chicks in the brooder. Which suits our climate perfectly for their arrival in early August when it was 100+ degrees without heat lamps during the day.
We also run them differently on the pastures, instead of individual chicken tractors, Cameron and James are building a large mobile shelter on a trailer and we will fence the turkeys in with poultry netting hotwire. It’s amazing how well this works! As long as we give the turkeys somewhere to roost in their shelter they don’t fly over the netting, and it keeps predators out. Well at least last year it did, but we did have Mundi to help with that too, I am a little more concerned this year without her.
Also, the turkeys leave behind a lot more manure than the chickens and it was incredible to see what that did for the pasture this spring! We really love this season around here with the little gobblers we call them!
As I mentioned above, we will have 100 turkeys this year. I am taking names for anyone who would like one and if you know of anyone who wants the best thanksgiving turkey they have ever had send them our way please!