Harvesting a Thanksgiving Turkey

| 12/1/2009 12:54:36 PM

A photo of Michelle HernadezCAUTION: This blog entry discusses the steps for killing a turkey. Reader discretion is advised.

In the United States, we just celebrated Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a good time to reflect on and give thanks for all the good fortune I have: health, family, friends, laughter, a roof over my head, a shirt on my back, food in my belly. Truly, that is more than many people ever have.

From the culinary perspective, the Thanksgiving celebration often centers on a bountiful meal with turkey as a primary focus. This year, I wanted to be more aware of my turkey’s origins. Instead of buying a shiny, plastic package in the grocery store, I worked with my neighbor to raise “Din-Din,” our Thanksgiving turkey.

Our Thanksgiving turkey, Din-Din

I already raise chickens, ducks, and guineas, but I did not have facilities for raising turkeys. As such, my neighbor generously offered to raise Din-Din with her turkeys, if I could go to a neighboring city and pick up an order of poults for her. That seemed a more than fair deal. I picked up Din-Din at 8 weeks from a local source and raised him for the first couple of weeks of his life at my house. My neighbor did the rearing from that point.

So, to say I harvested “my” turkey is perhaps technically accurate, but it was more of a surrogate turkey situation. However, I did still want to participate in the harvest, as I plan to raise chicken meat birds in the future as part of my flocks.

muriel redd
1/21/2011 12:50:25 PM

Hello. I love reading about your antics. Your experiences are informative and funny. On your harvesting turkey site, one photo shows you holding "Din Din" affectionately before you move him to the neighbors farm. Behind you is what appears to be a shelter covered with a tarp. Is this where you kept him housed ? Did this keep him sheltered from the weather and predators ? We live in the NW and have plenty of rain. Also foxes and raccoons. How much "free range" space did you allow him ? This year I plan to raise a couple of turkeys myself. M Redd

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