There is very little to say about the turkeys, but that may be the most remarkable part.  For all the death and disaster we’ve come to know as farming, the turkeys were a huge and relatively easy success.

By the time we placed our poultry order in March, Murray McMurray was out of turkeys, so we ended up going through Tractor Supply.  This reduced the options in terms of heritage breeds, but we still managed to avoid the giant and midget whites by ordering five each of the broad breasted bronze and bourbon red varieties, all of which arrived in late May.

After four weeks in the brooder under heat lamps, we moved the poults to a chicken tractor.

When they outgrew that, Will built the poultry version of a double wide and made a turkey tractor, big enough to house these massive birds but small enough to still be movable by hand.

The broad breasted bronze got absolutely enormous, so Will did a practice run for Thanksgiving, which turned out to be very informative as heritage birds, or at least our birds, were much gamier and benefited from a night in brine.  We ended up with enough turkeys that we were able to sell some to friends willing to help out with the processing.

Unfortunately, the bourbon reds turned out to be about half the size of the broad breast bronze once fully dressed, so for our own Thanksgiving dinner, we ended up with a back up bird from Whole Foods to ensure there was enough turkey to go around.  We will not make this mistake twice.

We will definitely get turkeys again in 2012.  Probably ten, as I doubt the turkey tractor could hold much more.  I think we’ll still get broad breasted bronze, but I’m on the fence about the bourbon reds.  The flavor was fantastic, but turkeys are an absolute disaster to pluck, so I think we may want a little more reward in the form of meat for all that effort.