It's that time of year again. Time for turkey! This year we decided not to buy any birds from the commercial hatcheries, but to just raise birds hatched here on the farm from our breeding flock of Bourbon Reds.
We had the incubator cooking all spring and summer and basically hatched out every egg our small flock produced. I couldn't tell you exactly how many little poults we produced, but we had hatchings every few weeks. We sold many of the little birds locally then at some point stopped selling them and started growing them out for Thanksgiving. We started out with at least 60 birds. Unfortunately, we had a terrible year for predators. We had the dog attack, but before and after we had hawks, possums, and foxes all wreaking havoc on our flocks. At this point we have about 30 birds that will be going off to the processors tomorrow.
We really like raising the Bourbon Reds. They seem to be very hardy birds who enjoy ranging and foraging in our pastures. They are a little more standoffish than the broad breasted whites, who will mob you and knock you down for food, but friendly enough to be easy to handle and put away at night.
Rialey has progressed so much in her herding training this year and does a great job of keeping the birds from being underfoot or getting too pushy with us...though she could probably stand to move them with a little less...enthusiasm.
Tomorrow morning we will be loading the birds up and transporting them to the USDA processor who just so happens to be in the next town over. This makes us very happy as less travel time means less stress for the birds.
At this time, we still have a few birds available if anyone local is looking to add a locally, ethically raised bird to their Thanksgiving table. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get on the list!
Hope everyone has a happy turkey day!