Do You Sell Live Or Dressed?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by thaiturkey, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We bought our first turkeys with the intention of selling a proportion of the offspring from each successive generation. The first hatch is now 6 or 7 weeks old and we shall have to decide soon whether to sell some poults or keep them until later this years and sell them then.

    The problem I shall have to address is whether to sell the mature birds live or dressed. I'm squeamish about carrying out the processing of oven ready birds but the real issue is my wife's belief that it's wrong to kill anything that is not threatening her life or health. If we sent away turkeys for slaughter or sold them to someone who would kill them, that would be acceptable to her.

    There is a market here for both live and dressed birds. I'm not yet sure which is the better market for us but I think that the dressed market would mainly be foreign owned restaurants who want the occasional bird or two around the usual festivals. We get occasional casual enquiries for live birds and I know that there is a demand forthem in the southern resort areas where they are probably kept and killed on demand for the tourist industry.

    So, we have to make a decision sooner or later. In the meantime, I would like to have a few views on the alternative markets from producers. Do you see a preference for one or the other? Do you sell live or dressed and why? Is the price difference worth the work involved in dressing a turkey?
     
  2. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In a lot (if not all) areas in the US, it is illegal to sell meat unless your processing facility is inspected and approved by the FDA. I sell turkeys for the holidays, everyone arrives on my doorstep at a scheduled time and has to help with the processing. Then they bag up their turkey and take it home. As far as I am concerned, I sold it live and let them use my facilities/equipment to dress it out. These are all people that I know. I have advertised them for sale but have found that people in this area want something for nothing. I pay about $6 per poult and am lucky if I can get $15 when they are adults. I had adult ducks listed for $5 and one lady called wanting them, but she wanted them dressed and delivered for that price.

    Here in the US we have places that will process them for us, do you have anything like that there? Otherwise, processing the birds is a lot of work and not fun (I especially don't like the killing part but can do it). I don't know if you would get paid enough to make it worth the work and heartache. I would try selling live first...

    And please give your wife a hug for me, she sounds like a wonderful lady!
     
  3. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Frosty.

    The chicken factories that grow for export will work to strict codes, at least when they are being watched by an inspector, but I'm not sure about buyers. I think that I would rather they did the deed well away from our home. I don't know of any specialist small processors but I shall enquire and check them out if I find any.

    It's possible that the live market is more active for what we do for a couple of reasons. people are beginning to learn about turkeys and want to start flocks of their own. The other is the heat - too long out of the fridge or freezer and you've lost the meat. Some homes still have neither out in the sticks and rely on a daily bought block of ice fore chilling. The traditional country way is to buy or find food for each day or each meal. Anything but meat is growing all around and the local market has fresh meat every morning. If I can get hold of buyers in the south they will buy live once we have the right quantity. At present they drive past our village and go way up north. That would solve the problem and I would be able to turn away those who want us to procvess them.

    My wife thanks you for the compliment! Wai returned (the traditional Thai greeting).

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you can get somebody else to do it, or get in with the buyers in the south, I would advise doing that. It can be really hard to nurture a critter then kill it.

    I can understand your wifes thinking... I can kill an animal if it is harming my animals with no hesitation. I can kill them if I am going to eat them, but it is harder for me. I don't mind cleaning them so much, but hate the killing part. Then you have to have a plan for what to do with the remains after you are done.

    Is that a picture of your wife? I am trying to think of what the equivalent greeting would be in return... Folks here use hello for a greeting but it seems very inadequate. I think that you are very lucky to have each other!
     
  5. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I guess that I'm getting the advice that I wanted but it's useful know what others do.

    No, that's not my wife. I just Googled for an image of a wai for you. It's used as a greeting and when saying thank you very politely. 'Hello' sound like 'Sawasdee' followed by 'ka' if you're female or 'kap' if you're male. Goodbye is the same! There are some rules that go with it - 'Hi' and a handshake is simpler but you won't get the latter here except from a very few Western-savvy Thais who already know you.

    Thank you for the further compliment. [​IMG] We took a long time to find one another!
     
  6. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I sell my turkeys, I plan on being both live and dressed. I find that a little clothing increases the rate of return customers. The turkeys, however, are no longer alive, sadly.
     
  7. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Great sense of humour! [​IMG]
     
  8. My Little Sister's Farm

    My Little Sister's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm selling them as LIVE and WHOLE. But I will complimentary process them for people. They'd have to opt out of processing, not opt in. I am selling the 30 I have reserved for $3/lb processed but they will be listed with their live and dressed weights. I don't plan on making too much money this year. We're hoping to create a small following in our area and then in 2012 we want to start building an Oregon Dept of Ag approved facility to do our processing and build our small farm dream.
     
  9. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    We sell ours live.

    Steve
     
  10. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Live seems to be the way to go for us too. If I can find a reliable processor for the occasional job on his premises that would be good but I'm not hopeful about finding one. We already have interest from people with land who want to keep turkeys so everything is pointing that way. In the end, it probably has to be live sales because of Mrs. Thaiturkey's views on killing.

    Thanks for your comments and thoughts.
     

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