To be picked up at: 7650 Plattville Road, Yorkville, Illinois 60560, United States
1. You pick live turkey $75.00
We learned a few things about raising turkeys in 2018. First, they are a pleasure to raise. They are kind of like an innocent clumsy puppy in the way they get excited to see us and how they treat us nice back. It was fun to watch them follow Mrs. Farmer lead them around the farm like the pied piper.
With that being said, we've learned some things in the years since we've been raising turkeys.
1. At 19 weeks, our heaviest processed turkey was 16.5lbs. When we process we did not keep or include the gizzard, liver or heart. That may make up about a pound. We don't include a "gravy packet" which is probably close to another pound. We're either going to have to grow some turkeys longer to get to that 19-23lb range, or take the bigger ones off the price list.
2. Research tells us that turkeys are best at about 16 weeks. Our experience is that our birds are fabulous even into 22 or 23 weeks.
With all of that being said, welcome to our turkey page. You will find more updates along the way at the facebook feed. Join us to watch them grow.
It is fun to see how they "get trained" as we move the tractors. When we lower the wheels or raise the tractor for moving, they get really excited. Then as you pull it forward, they crowd the front with their heads down, poking into the new coming grass as they scamper ahead. They love the bugs, that's what they are looking for as they come on to the new grass area. We move them typically 2-3 times a day so they are always on some pretty new turf.
In 2019 we introduced Premier One Fencing that will let the birds live primarily outside of their Turkey Tractor without having predator problems. We did learn that we do need to lock the turkeys inside at nigh time. This means access to a lot more grass and allows 15 turkeys in the pen without crowding rather than maxing out at about 10. We move the fencing about once a week to keep them on fresh grass.
When you buy a turkey from us, you have a few choices to consider.
You may choose to pick up your turkey live in a properly ventilated box and take it home with you.
Another option is for us to process your bird at our farm. This is done free of charge.
Your typical 19lb turkey from Meijer or Walmart has about 9.5% of what they call a basting solution. That's 1.8 lbs of your package that ends up as juice at the bottom of the roaster before we start talking about the 1.5lbs of neck and giblets that you probably don't eat.
Straight away, your 19lb turkey is more like a 16lb turkey.
Second point is that on most days of the year, turkeys are closer to $2 bucks a pound as whole frozen birds. Around thanksgiving time the stores know they will sell you $200 worth of other fixings if they can get you in the store to buy the turkey. They are either getting down to cost, or probably selling a bit below cost on the turkey so they can make the big margin on the other stuff in your cart.
I'm not even saying these turkeys are a bad deal at 88c / lb, I've bought many of them over the years just because they seem to be such a great value. There are many families who don't stop to think about it, or they are just fine with that 88c turkey on the table at thankgiving.
And, there are those who are not. There are a lot of people who want a pasture raised free range non-gmo turkey on the table for thanksgiving.
Some may add to that, fresh, never frozen and Organic!
All are valid choices. In fact, we explored organic for the feed and it's almost impossible to do it with our model. The feed cost is so high we would have to charge near $9/lb for Organic, non-gmo birds raised the way we do it. We are everything except organic.
Is our feed soaked in pesticides? No. There are a few disruptive websites and authors who talk that brand of nonsense. It isn't true or fact and then the amounts of any chemical used on non-gmo grains is very little. Many times smaller is any possible amount that is actually in the grain itself.
If you look at your store bought turkey packaging it will say that "No additional hormones or antibiotics were used" which leaves open the door for some to have been used. Some people don't like that and for those people, I am happy to tell you that we use None, zero hormones and zero antibiotics on our turkeys. We even grind our feed from whole seed grains just so we make sure none of those things go in our feed.
Our turkeys are in a Turkey Tractor which keeps them safe from birds of prey, dogs, coyotes or other predators, but lets them roam in the grass all day. They eat the grass and bugs as we find new areas of the farm to move them to. They now have a 625sqft premier one electric netting enclosure surrounding their Turkey Tractor. The door can stay open so they can go inside to get shade, grain or water but mostly they can wander around outside pecking the ground, grass and bugs.
For all these reasons, our turkeys are way better than the cheaper turkeys at the stores. For people who want better, we hope to fill that gap.
We find this in line with other producers of similar quality turkeys. I might add that we almost always find these other producers sold out at this comparable price.