|Last turkey shot of the year 2012.|
So another year of raising turkeys is now securely under our belts. The turkeys were dropped off at the abattoir this morning and my hands are officially clean of the cold morning/late evening turkey chores. Chores that included multiple water runs (specifically when the temperatures dipped below freezing), feed runs, electric fence checks (to make sure the pasture was protected from predators), and catching turkeys (they found many ways to get out of said netted pasture). The biggest/most time consuming chore on the farm is raising these turkeys. It all starts with my breeding stock and making sure they are happy and healthy, then it is the eggs (incubating), and then closely watching the turkey chicks (who die really quite easily if not well taken care of). The next is trying care for the poults (which is a difficult stage due to flighty-ness and a general lack of any rational thinking on their part) and then it is the adult stage which is when they calm down, gain weight and look really pretty. Then the table. I skipped the killing part- I think we all know what happens there...
All in all this takes more then 28 weeks. From April/May through to December I am saddled down with heritage turkeys.
Just this morning at the abattoir we were asked by a local Amish man
"What is the only thing dumber then turkeys?"
and the reply..
"the person feeding them".
It is true you have to give your head a shake every once in a while- it is a long, challenging endeavour. One that comes with its low points (just this year we lost 20+ of our turkeys to coyotes). But when you watch turkeys out on the pasture doing what they instinctively know how to do and then you actually taste the real turkey taste of a well raised bird- it just feels right. In an age where the mass raised commercial turkeys spend their whole existence indoors never once seeing the sun or eating a blade of grass I just want to be able to provide something that feels right.
So yeah I guess I am dumber then I turkey but I am a farmer with a clear conscience.
and a belly full of really tasty turkey...
Laura, Mark, Nate, Lucas and Millie Mae.