Monday, December 5, 2016

How To Raise Turkeys | Lesson Learned

We have a Thanksgiving tradition of everything we put on our table should be homemade, and preferably grown or raised ourself. Including the turkey!
My husband and I feel privlaged that we are able to enjoy living in the country and have been able to produce much of our own food.
Several years ago we were eager to take on the endeavor of learning to raise and butcher our own chickens and turkeys.  Neither of us grew up know how to butcher our own meat. We both had parents  who had a garden and canned their own food. My foster parents raised cattle & pigs, but the meat was taken to a place that did the butchering. I never saw the animals get butchered. My parents raised chickens, but they were only for egg production and they were never even allowed to free-range.
We decided that we were going to raise poultry and do the butchering ourself.  This was something we add to learn on our own.


This was our very 1st batch of turkeys

It was definately a learning curve. Our first customer, purchase two of them.  He prefered  to butcher them himself. The turkeys were so large that he had to use a saw to get the bird to fit in the roasting pan! Both turkeys dressed out at 44 lbs each!

Picture of a male turkey raised on a wv farm

Lesson Learned | When To Butcher Turkeys

We look at it now and chuckle a bit. The lesson we learned was to start the turkeys in July instead of the Spring. That way, they will at least fit into a roasting pan! Learn from our year, start your turkeys around July, they will be ready just in time for Thanksgiving and will be the perfect size.

Video | How To Butcher A Chicken

Below is a video showing you how to bucher chickens. Joel Salatin has more or less been our mentor. We own several of his books and personally use alot of his techniques. The one thing we do differently than him is how we do the butchering. We prefer to just chop off the head rather than put them in the killing cones. We feel it is more humane. 


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