Monday, December 2, 2013

Turkey Update

Greetings from Baker Heritage Farms;

Yes, we still have turkeys, though less than half are left.

As we mentioned in a previous post, we were able to find a USDA inspected processor that was also Animal Welfare Approved. Their name is Garner Abattoir Meat Processing and they are a family run business located in Van Buren, Arkansas.

On Wednesday, November 20th, Debbie, Danielle, and Elizabeth rounded up turkeys and got 3 Tom's and 5 Hen's into two cages (the 3 Tom's and 1 Hen in one, and 4 Hen's in the other). When Donald got home from working out-of-town, he and Adam loaded the cages up in the truck, and Donald and Debbie got up at 4:30 am Thursday morning to take them to the processor. They were picked up late Friday evening.

USDA Inspected
We processed 8 turkeys ranging in weight from 8 pounds to over 14 pounds. We originally dedicated three turkeys for the Heavener First United Methodist Church, and also gave a close friend that has helped with the farm one of them. On short notice, we sold two, and kept two.

As we generally get a 22 pound turkey from the market, we kept the 8 pounder and a 14 pound Tom. Debbie cooked the 8 pounder the day before Thanksgiving just in case we needed it, and cooked the 14 pounder Thanksgiving day.

The turkey definitely looked good, and initial taste tests indicated we were in for a treat.

Cut up Turkey, ready to eat
After cutting up the turkey, it did not look like much, but the dark meat was dark, making the dark meat on a store bought turkey look almost white.

The turkey was extremely favorable, rich and very tender. Part of the processing technique used included "air-drying", which eliminated any water weight. As a result, our 14 pound turkey provided essentially the same amount of actual meat that a 22 pound store bought turkey would have provided. Needless to say, we still have turkey left over.

Reviews from all of those that got some turkey (church, friends, customers) were very good, and we plan to sell 4 or 5 of the remaining 6 (yes, we had 15, but one is crippled and we will keep her for awhile) for Christmas. They will travel to their final destination (the processor) on Thursday, December 12th.

We have only good things to say about Garner Abattoir, everyone is very friendly and helpful (even their long-time customers), they are quick and efficient, and deliver a very high quality product. They are a blessing to the community.

We will most likely not be raising turkeys in 2014 (though this may change), but will probably revisit the subject for 2015. If we do raise them again, we will most likely not be able to call them free-range, as we will probably clip their wings to keep them under control.

In our area, non-organically raised heritage breed turkeys will bring over $4.40/pound. If you check Ebay, whole turkeys are bringing between $180 and $240 per bird, plus shipping and handling. This means that raising turkeys can be profitable (we sold our for $30 and $40 per bird, though we will most likely sell them for $40 - $45 per bird for Christmas).

In the meantime, the turkey operation has proven to be another success for our farm.

From farm,

to table,

to stomach,

Farm fresh, all natural, heritage breed turkeys from Baker Heritage Farms - the only way to go.

Blessings from Baker Heritage Farms

"You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether what you're doing is work or play." Warren Beatty

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