And then there were four
We did twenty five turkeys this spring. We lost five chicks in the first week, no losses beyond that. We have been doing a slaughter day each week for about a month. Hand plucking makes for long slaughter days. But having an extended window for slaughter has meant we met the window for each customer's desired weight. We had requests for < 12 to 22 pounds dressed weight. Our smallest bird was a little over twelve, the largest has been 23.5 lbs dressed.
I talked to a nearby farmer and he talked about having commercial white toms coming in at 39lbs live weight, which I would guess would be close to 30 lbs dressed. I am assuming the major difference from his max weight to ours is more grain. Interestingly, it sounds like his hens weighed in at about the same as ours. Whatever led to his big toms did not translate to bigger hens.
We have sold 12 birds this year. Our goal had been 10, but it seemed like a good idea to satisfy our available market. That's without any advertising outside word of mouth. My wife does all the selling, connections she makes at the farmer's markets and the community. After giving two to family, two for the harvest party, one for our thanksgiving and another one at Christmas, there are two for our freezer to enjoy later. I like eating roast turkey, its a big meal that carries us for days after that isn't hard to do. And during the winter, it is hard to beat the way it satisfies hunger.
We are thinking about renting a plucker for the final slaughter day. We want to try one out as we think a plucker is in our future. I'd like to get an idea for how the different styles compare. We have some roosters that will help make it worthwhile. I think about making one of those Wizbang pluckers, but I haven't gotten up the motivation.