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Since You Asked: Can Your Turkeys Walk?

turkeys love to crowd around visitors, even though they have plenty of room in the back of the barnOnce upon a time, a few years ago, there was a nasty rumor that turkeys are so fat that their legs cannot support their own weight. 

I’d like to take this opportunity to clear up that misconception.

Our turkeys can walk.

If our turkeys couldn’t walk, they would not have access to their food and water, and they would die.  Dead turkeys are of no use to us.  Therefore, turkeys who can’t walk are of no use to us, or anyone in the turkey growing business.

Of course, our turkeys are very large.  They are almost 45 pounds when they go to market, and that’s BIG.
It is illegal to give poultry added hormones and steroids, so how do the birds get so big? Good old fashioned breeding.  Breed a big tom with a big hen and you get a big poult.  Breed a strong legged, big tom with a strong legged, big hen, and you get a strong legged, big poult that can support it’s weight as it grows.

Breeding, combined with a nearly perfect diet, has led to big, meaty turkeys.

End of story.

Carry On…

My heart is heavy this morning.

Red Barn or BoothBay Blue? Exterior Inspiration

*Update!  The house is painted!  Check it out here.*

Finally, after living here for 5 years, the exterior of our house will be done!  New siding and windows were installed last fall, and the painter is coming Tuesday!  We had a big discussion about house colors on Facebook last week, and hubby and I have made our decision.  But just for fun, I want to show you some inspiration pictures for our top two color choices.

Mother’s Day–Free Printables

In honor of Mother’s Day, I made a few FREE Mother’s Day cards for you to print.  These printables are a free gift for my email subscribers.  In order to download the files, you must sign up for my email list below.  After you sign up, you’ll get a confirmation email that has the link to download the printables. (Check your spam folder if you don’t see it right away.)  Any questions, just let me know in the comments!
Only One Mother's Day CardInsanity is Hereditary Free PrintableInsanity is Hereditary Free Printable
Free Mother's Day Printable
And the card versions – just print and fold!  (The printable versions do not have the watermark on the bottom right, but they do have my website on the back.)
Insanity Mother's Day CardFree Mother's Day cardFree printable for Mother's DayFree Mother's Day Printable Card

Happy Mother’s Day!

Grain Sack Striped Table

This is one of my favorite recent furniture projects.  If I had room for it, it would definitely be living at my house. 
The table was a cast-off from hubby’s grandparents, and we used it in our basement for a long time to hold junk.  Then, when I decided to start The HomeShed last fall, I decided it was an excellent candidate for the sale.

table makeover
Not surprisingly, it did not sell in its “before” state.  The week before our spring barn sale.  I decided to give it a makeover.
I started by clamping, gluing and screwing the top down.  It was a bit warped, but a few days in the clamps with screws holding it together and it was much better. 
Then, I painted. 
No sanding or prep work, since the wood was pretty weathered and I was going for a distressed look. 
I put a quick coat of cream on and let that dry overnight. 
Next, I taped off the design and painted navy grain sack stripes.  navy grain sack stripes
After that dried, I distressed a bit with my sanding sponge and went over the whole thing with some wood stain to darken it up a bit more.
The chairs were from my dining room.  I recovered them in a navy ticking stripe.
ticking stripe chair
The table was free to me and the chairs cost $2 each at a garage sale 6 or 7 years ago (and I’d been using them in the dining room since then!)  Because of that, I’m able to charge only for my labor and supplies, and this set – table & 4 chairs – is priced at $150.
grain sack striped table
The set is still for sale, so email or call if you’re interested (contact info on my HomeShed facebook page) or come see it in person at our next sale June 28-30th at Red Granite Farm.

Shared at Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special
Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday
TDC Before and After

Ground Turkey: Fear vs. Facts

Ground turkey is in the news again, and it’s not pretty.  Consumer Reports did some independent research and then sensationalized the results, as some media outlets tend to do.  But I believe we should make food choices based on facts, not fear, and ground turkey is no exception.

ground turkey safety

The fear:  Ground turkey is contaminated with bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.

The facts: In the Consumer Reports testing, NONE of the turkey sampled contained Campylobacter, and only 5% of the samples contained Salmonella.  Government testing has found very similar results.


The fear: E. Coli and Enterococcus on ground turkey will make us sick.

The facts: While E. Coli can cause illness, it is found in many places in our environment, including computer keyboards!  And Enterococcus, which CR focused on in their article, does NOT cause foodborne illness.


The fear: There is not enough testing for bacteria on turkey.  CR called for the USDA to declare four serotypes of Salmonella adulterants in ground turkey.

The facts: Tens of thousands of turkey samples are tested annually by the FDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Services. Nearly 90 percent of the ground turkey samples, and 97 percent of the whole turkey samples are Salmonella-free.  In addition, there is no reliable, rapid tests for Salmonella serotypes.  Most reliable tests still take more than a week. That kind of delay would make ground turkey a more expensive product to produce, denying many Americans— especially budget conscious consumers— a nutritious, safe protein. The turkey industry will continue to invest in new testing methodologies, but it will likely be years before one reliable enough for regulatory purposes is developed.


The fear: Bacteria on turkey are resistant to antibiotics, which can cause a risk to human health.

The facts: All bacteria are resistant to certain antibiotics.  Scott Hurd, PhD, DVM, Associate Professor of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, Iowa State University, said, “The fact that some of those bacteria are resistant to certain antibiotics is also neither alarming nor surprising. Many bacteria are naturally resistant to certain antibiotics regardless of how they’ve been used previously. This is the reason that sick people need to be seen by a doctor so they get an antibiotic to which the bacteria are known to be susceptible.”


The fear: Overuse of antibiotics on farms can lead to antibiotic resistance in humans.  CR said the report found resistance to “ampicillin, ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, tetracycline and others “often used to treat illnesses” associated with foodborne illness.

The facts:

o Penicillin-class drugs (including ampicillin) comprise only 7% of all antibiotic use in food-producing animals. (Iowa State University study/FDA records)

o Cephalosporin-class drugs (including ceftriaxone) comprise less than 1% of all antibiotic use in food-producing animals. (Iowa State study/FDA records)

o Ciprofloxacin (specifically its animal version, enrofloxacin) has been banned for use in poultry for almost eight years, so on-farm use cannot be the source of resistance in poultry – FDA records.

o Tetracycline, which is widely used in food-animal production, no longer is a significant drug in human medicine, comprising only four percent of the antibiotics prescribed by physicians. (Iowa State study/FDA records)


The fear:  Farmers misuse antibiotics.

The facts: According to the FDA, antibiotics have been use safely in animal agriculture for half a century to treat and control disease, and improve overall health.  Turkey farmers use antibiotics judiciously and in full compliance with federal law.

Antibiotic use on livestock farms is not an imminent public health threat, according to the FDA, National Research Council and World Health Organizations.  There is no scientific consensus that antibiotic use in animals is connected to antibiotic resistance in human medicine.


The fear: Eating ground turkey will make me sick.

The facts:  ALL meat, including ground turkey, should be thoroughly cooked to avoid foodborne illness.  Ground turkey should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, using a meat thermometer.  Wash your hands, avoid cross contamination, cook thoroughly and refrigerate promptly to avoid illness.


Now that you’ve read both sides of the story, which will you choose? 


Or Facts?

For more facts about your food, visit www.findourcommonground.com, www.bestfoodfacts.org, www.fooddialogues.com and www.safefruitsandveggies.com