Let’s talk about my new passion.. turkey..
This was our first year raising turkeys.
I just liked the taste of turkey and wanted something other than rabbit and chicken so we decided to add some turkeys to our little sustainable farm. I have to admit when we first embarked on this journey I was not 100 percent sure how I would feel raising the animals and then culling them for the freezer. I guess by starting our journey with cute little rabbits, it made everything else fall comfortably into place. Turkeys and ducks seemed like the logical next move for our one acre sustainable farm.
We bought the turkeys as three week olds. They cost us $12 a piece and were a cross between a wild turkey and a tame turkey. My husband was sure we were going to lose some so we ordered 10. The supplier must have thought we were going to lose some as well because they sent us a couple of extra. All 12 survived and turned into Hundreds of pounds of meat. In five months we were able to fill our freezer with more turkey than an average family eats.
I think the thing that surprised me the most is the diversified meat of the turkey.
Before we grew our own, I would buy the odd supermarket turkey and try to get creatative with it. I would make hotsandwiches, cold sandwiches, pasta and soup. A supermarket turkey with the right Planning could give us about 5 meals.
We had our first homegrown turkey at Thanksgiving. I remember it was a fair size. I think he was about 27 pounds. I was shocked about how easily I was able to bring the turkey in from the outside and place him into the oven. We had possibly the best tasting turkey dinner in our lives and I sat there looking at all the meat that was left over. I cannot remember exactly how many meals we were able to get off him but I think it was about 12.
We culled a turkey the other day. We had the full intention of just cutting him up into parts but my husband carefully dressed him. Had he been actually able to fit into the oven we probably would have kept him to roast. However at 40lbs, he had no chance of fitting in the oven.
We are just settling into winter and have decided to take some of our turkeys into the winter with us. Our hopes being that the two hens and the two toms will successfully breed and make our farm a little more sustainable with regards to our animals.
I have to say I really enjoyed raising the turkeys, aside from the huge amounts of feed they would ingest each and every day. They interacted with us enough to entertain us but kept a certain amount of distance as well. My husband could handle them but for the most part they had a you can look but you cant touch policy. They were friendly enough to co-exist with but kept enough distance we didn’t make pets out of them. I am beginning to find that a very important factor in the “raise our own food” adventure that we are on.