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Turkey Tuesday – To market, to market

*This is a repost from last April, before I had many followers.  But it is totally relevant, because we loaded out turkeys last Monday and Tuesday nights.  Just imagine everything covered in snow and it’s basically the same thing.*


One of our flocks goes to market tonight.  They are somewhere around 20 weeks old (I can’t remember exactly, should have asked hubby.)

The first half went out last night.  Ten semi loads.  Average weight per turkey was just over 44 lbs.   That is a GREAT weight! (And we are paid per pound.)  I would love to show you a pic of the birds at this age, but I just couldn’t get a good one.  Maybe next time. :)


The loading crew starts around 8 PM.  Hubby helps them.  Last night, he came in, showered, and stumbled up to bed at 3 AM. (I say “stumbled” because I heard every move he made.  Apparently too tired to be quiet.)

I’ve never watched them do this, because quite frankly, 44 lb, aggressive, waist high birds kind of scare me.  But this is my understanding:  there are a few guys who “herd” the turkeys by waving plastic feed sacks at them.

Then, they put them on this “escalator” that takes them to the truck.

And the truck takes them to the meat packing plant.

Which processes the meat and sends it to Subway (and some other places.) Yeah, seriously.  Our plant supplies all of Subway’s turkey west of the Mississippi River.  So eat turkey at Subway!


This is one of our 4 finishers, where the turkeys live from 6 weeks of age to market age (around 20 weeks…sometimes more or less depending on conditions of the flock.)


This whole process occurs about once every 9 weeks.  Then, after the flock is processed and whatnot, we get a check!  That’s right, my hubby, the Farmer, gets paid approximately once every 2 months.

But better than this:


…which was going on across the road, and only happens once a year.  No wonder farm families are so frugal.  It’s hard to make a budget when there are so many variables.

So there was another glimpse into the life of a turkey farmer (and his family.)  I can hear the first semi pulling away right now.  They kept waking me up last night, but I really shouldn’t complain, should I?

Got any turkey related questions for future Turkey Tuesday posts?

Would you like to comment?

  1. My in-laws bought some turkeys a few years ago, the kids started naming them. Need leads to say they didn't actually harvest any of them ;) Large turkeys would scare me too!

  2. Oh, and by the way I love your to-do list on your sidebar. Can I steal it?

  3. Had to go back and see what Kendra caught! To Do list on your side bar, now that is holding ones self accountable! Not sure I am that brave! Glad you were able to get the turkeys out even with the snow. We are out of school, but haven't had a lot of snow. Then wind is supposed to pick up tonight, and that is when things get really dicey around here. Two inches of snow can wreak havoc on our roads with drifts five times the amount of actual snow. You know how it goes I am sure.

    Yes your hind sight about big turkeys proved to be quite accurate! ;-)

    Stay warm and out of the way!


  4. Definitely going to order turkey next time I'm at Subway!!

  5. Hope your turkeys are doing well with all this cold weather and snow. Have you ever gotten flopped by a turkey. I have had some try to flop me but I usually got away before they got to me. It is a little scarry though.

  6. Sounds like you have been busy. Are you still teaching school? When is the baby due?

  7. Hey, thanks for the Dave suggestion. We did the whole study at church about 4 years ago. Apparently we fell off the wagon. :) I don't know if I've read that particular one. I'll have to check, it may be the one we did.

    Guess what....I found 2 boxes already. Woo hoo!!! I've already got a project in mind. :)