Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2013 Turkey Shares

After last year's disappointing lesson regarding not counting our turkeys before they hatch, we hedged our bets and ordered turkeys from 3 sources this year. This plan seems to be working in that 10 mixed color heritage turkeys are living in a brooder in our front room. Better than that? They are nearly all resold already! We'll be raising them up for those family, friends, and neighbors who ordered them. Then, when they are grown, Sean has the unenviable task to bring them to the butcher.

I thought this would be easier for me. I thought that by selling them to the recipients immediately, banding them to indicate to whom they belonged, and knowing from day one that these were destined for dinner I would be able to not get emotionally involved. I thought wrong.

I picked up these first chicks on Thursday morning. I was unprepared for their cute factor. When I held one later in the day, it shocked me when it began to shake in my hand until it calmed down with my petting and fell asleep. I buried the little pang and went to call a reputable local butcher to discuss pricing and find out how all this worked since this would be our first time raising any kind of meat at the homestead. I left a message when no one answered and went on with my day, creating Turkey Share Contracts to protect all the parties in this venture. The moment that I knew I was definitely in trouble? 2:17pm, Thursday afternoon. I was sitting with a couple chicks nestled in the collar of my shirt while I was typing up contract information when the butcher called back. Discussing the method of their demise, payments, and reserving dates was a bit "real" for me. It was at that moment that I knew Sean was going to have to handle that part of this deal. It was going to be too much for me.

And, that is okay.

All of this is preparation for our getting our breeding stock. Sean and I have been quite comfortable being a "no-kill" homestead. But, we aren't vegetarian. We eat meat. And, we hatch cute little chicks for other people to add to their flocks, knowing full well that most folk will "retire" their older hens and their roosters into their soap pot. And, we have been fine with that decision. Our intention is to keep the nicest tom and the 5 nicest hens to supply us with chicks to sell to those who want to raise
their own heritage breed turkeys. But, we are a year later than we wanted to be with this aspect of our farming business, so after much discussion, we decided to raise some birds for customers here, in addition to getting and raising our breeding stock. The hope is that these customers will be happy with their experience and come back to purchase birds next year when we are hatching them ourselves. And, maybe, they'll be so happy, they will tell their friends about us, too. And, that helps... somewhat. Knowing that I can bond with, raise up, and love on a group of turkey birds that will live out their natural lives here on our farm is a little spot of sunshine. It also helps to know that the turkeys we are raising for our customers will have had a very good life here; plenty of food, room to run, and a clean coop to roost in. And, as morbid as it is, a quick end. I have spent a good amount of time looking into how "the deed" is done. It was unpleasant to be sure, but it is important for me to know that when the time comes, they won't suffer or be mistreated.

It is not my intention of scaring off potential customers with my candor. This site has and will always be a real, honest look at what is happening here. Sometimes we have much joy; other times, we are full of doubts and worry. That's just the way it is.

With all that being said, I was just contacted by the neighbor who hatched this set of turkey poults for us and she has had another 20 hatch successfully. If you are local and interested in our raising a heritage breed, organic turkey for your family's dinner, please feel free to contact us to order yours now while we have them available. If you are wondering why we feel so strongly about eating organic, heritage breeds and why you should be, read on HERE. Click to read our Turkey Share Contact.

Thanks for visiting with us this evening, friends. We're sure glad of your company.
Sonja ♥


  1. Have you noticed that almost all species when babies have the "cute factor," with the exception of maybe snakes, worms, and mosquitoes. I even got attached to a couple of baby voles my cats brought in. After researching what mice babies eat, I was actually able to keep them alive for a couple of days. I think the clue is in the handling. There's something about holding ANY baby that gets me involved emotionally. I have since learned not to. For example, when I found a baby kitten dropped off at my house on Lake Forest, I immediately put it in a box and took if to the shelter. And I vowed to not indulge my desire for fuzzy huggy things ever again! It's just not worth the pain.

  2. I know they will have a happy turkey life with you guys. And I know the butcher you picked knows how to do his job very well, 'cause your sweet enough and loving enough to research such things!