Sunday, October 30, 2011

Turkeys in the backyard!

(to the tune of "Smokin' in the Boys Room)...

After the Farm Day yesterday (story of the weaving here), I picked up 4 turkeys on the way home. They were, of course, on CL, for $25/each. Since poults cost about $5/each, and then being fed for 6 months, this was a screamin' deal. Now, I know it's common to find turkeys in the store very soon for 49 cents/lb., but there is nothing that compares with home grown turkeys. Because of my move, I didn't raise turkeys this year, and it would mean that we didn't have a home-grown turkey for Thanksgiving.

These guys (and girls) are 6+ months old, and about 2 months past optimal butcher time - only because they're huge, not that they won't be tender. The one hen that I loaded up probably weighed 30 lbs. and the toms were much bigger (yield after butchering is roughly 65% of live weight). The folks I got them from were commenting that they were surprised that they ended up with a tom and hen of each breed (broadbreasted white and broadbreasted bronze). I explained that these turkeys cannot breed naturally because of their large pectoral muscles (the breast meat). While the toms certainly want to try, they can't assume the correct "position."

To give a little scale, they are in a "coop" of 34" hog panels. The toms' heads are just under the top... The peacock, who was kept with my former turkey flock, thinks he's a turkey. He seems happy to have a flock again, however temporary!

I'll keep them on grass for about a week (maybe two), then I'll harvest them and have 2 smoked, take one to San Diego for Thanksgiving and stow the other one in the freezer.

And I apologize if you have that song running through your head for the rest of the day...

5 comments:

Michelle said...

Nope; Brian is watching "White Christmas" in the background, so I have "The Best Things (Happen While You're Dancing)" in my ears and head!

majorasue said...

My smoked turkey turned out SO GOOD! Good luck with yours!

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

I wish there were someone around that butchered birds, I'd raise me a few :)
Going to post about my new porcine back-yard occupants!

Jody said...

Mmmmm...smoked turkey :-)

SouthernHeart said...

Smoked turkey is the best! Jim has said that he would like to raise turkeys next year. Might give this a try...