Wednesday, September 09, 2009

This is why we need turkeys!

The local farm that sells good, grass-fed beef and such has emailed out another reminder to order your heritage turkey for the holidays. Should I? The price is $6.59/lb if you order now, $6.89 if you order after September 31, and I know that's a lot more expensive than Safeway, but it's a pretty good deal for free-range protein. I've never tasted a heritage turkey and they have quite a reputation. Still: $180 for two good-sized turkeys. It got me thinking.

Let's say I bought two turkey poults in the spring. They cost about 9 bucks a piece from most hatcheries and they're VERY cute. At least for a week or two. How much feed would they eat? The chickens have almost completely gone off feed, they are so amply supplied with forage, table scraps, and kitchen mistakes. I can't imagine two turkeys would consume $162 worth of feed  in the months it would take to fatten them for the table. 

Clearly, I'm trying to rationalize ordering turkey poults next spring, which is a ridiculous idea. I know that. When I mentioned it to the guy at Feather Haven, he told me turkeys are so dumb they drown in their water bowls when they try to drink.


a. we have known predator issues 
b. we have neighbors who might not approve
c. I would have to slaughter them
d. my husband gets a grim and stony look when the subject comes up

But still. Turkeys. Just once. It would be so great. 

Incidentally, this same farm that sells the heritage turkeys also sells free-range eggs for $7 a dozen. I don't want to denigrate the hard work of our local farmers or suggest that they don't deserve it, but that's a lot of money for eggs.


  1. Going price for local free range eggs at the farmers markets here in L.A. is around $4/dozen. $7 is way too much.

  2. Get the turkeys, get the turkeys ...

    one of us, one of us, one of us ...

  3. I take it you read "Animal, Mineral, Miracle" by Kingsolver? She did make raising a turkey seem quite romantic.

  4. Oh yes. Barbara Kingsolver has a lot to answer for. But she also got me started making cheese, which has been nothing but fun.

  5. Farm eggs in the Mid-Atlantic range from $1 (My sister's neighbor)- $3. Don't pay $7!!! Yikes.

  6. Anyone else wondering what day is September 31st? Just me? OK.

    At any rate, with your problem eating the rooster, if I were you, I'd be worried about being able to eat only side dishes on Thanksgiving.

  7. I've thought about that rooster long and hard, Margaret, and you may be right. But I have two theories about my rooster-eating problem, neither of which would interfere with turkey eating, provided I never saw the turkeys eating centipedes.
    But who knows.

  8. Tipsy, I would get the turkey's there are may good breeds on ebay, you can even save more if you purchased the fertilized eggs and incubated them yourself, for $180 you could by the eggs, incubator (more then one use) and much of the feed. Regarding slaughter, find someone to do it for you and have it returned ready for the oven.

    Are you raising eggs? $7.00 is really hard to believe. Here in the midwest we can get them for $2.00

  9. Tipsy doesn't live in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest or even LA. Have you seen the cost of living around here?