Do you sell your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Egg Rookie 2010, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Egg Rookie 2010

    Egg Rookie 2010 Songster

    Jun 21, 2010
    North Idaho
    Ok so if I order 15 poults in the spring...and want to pre sell them for much do you charge people for the birds and do you butcher it for them? Im sure any of my buyers would NOT butcher. I currently have chickens and guineas and I see that the turkey poults are expensive so I am stumped on a price for a finished bird. I appreciate your input..

  2. Egg Rookie 2010

    Egg Rookie 2010 Songster

    Jun 21, 2010
    North Idaho
    Im considering the Narragansett Turkey ...another question...are the toms nasty and can you let them free range with the other birds. They would house with them too.
  3. I have Red Bourbons and so far they are great Birds mild temped some what trainable and healthy from Poults.
    I got my Turkeys from a mail order out of Missouri and they sent 17 sending 2 extra because of possible loss but did not loose Even one.
    I would like to try some Narragansets as far as cost the base would have to get $45 to $50 each full grown live any thing less would be a loss a good part of that is the high price of feed.
    I found out that the local farmers market will not allow live birds to sell I would have to proses them and them have them USDA inspected before I would be able to sell them even more cost and trouble taken on.
    Other avenues I have tried to sell them have not panned out either but I am still trying.
    I think my family will be eating a lot of Turkey when there full grown come Christmas time.
    I will keep a few for Breeding and hope the Poults sell well.
    I do not want to discourage you from raising Turkeys its been a great experience.

    Best of Luck
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  4. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Songster

    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    I charge $4.50/lb for heritage birds and $3.30/lb for broad-breasted turkeys. At $4.50/lb, I still lose money on the heritage turkeys if I account for things like mileage to pick up feed and recovering construction costs for pens and brooder. I make a little bit on the heavy turkeys. I tried raising the heritage price to $5.00/lb (still a slight loss), but people here wouldn't pay it.

    I sell mine off the farm butchered the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Heritagde birds need to hatch by May 7th or so (preferably earlier) to be ready by Thanksgiving. I get broad-breasteds late in July. Most birds are already sold. In fact, a lot of my birds are sold a year ahead of time.

    We have a butchering party, and people that come and help get a small discount.

    Any birds that are too young at Thanksgiving (hatched off nests in the pen) might be butchered at Christmas, or we might just eat one at a time throughout the winter. I try to get rid of anything I don't want to use for breeding before March because I don't have the facilities to have a group of non-breeders, and I really don't want to feed the extra birds any more than i have to. Hens up here start laying around March 10 to March 15. Its a close call to get a lot of heritage birds to hatch in time.

  5. Egg Rookie 2010

    Egg Rookie 2010 Songster

    Jun 21, 2010
    North Idaho
    Thanks for these helpful responses. Do you house them separate from other poultry? I know about blackhead and I also hear everyone say they have never had trouble with that. My concern is pen size, do they pick on other birds etc.
  6. flocksalot

    flocksalot Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    Poynette WI
    I sell my Broad Breasted Whites for 2/lb. I know some people in other areas sell for more and that's fine, but here you won't get that kind of price. I'm also lucky enough to get them out on our hay fields at an early age which cuts down on feed costs considerably. My feed is also delivered from the local feed mill for free, so that also makes a big difference. I house them in my greenhouse in the evenings and over the winter. I generally raise about 50 or so of the Broad Breasted.

    This year I added 22 Midget Whites and I will be charging 3/lb for them. They take a bit longer to raise up compared to the BBWs. I have chosen a few breeders and all the rest are either spoken for or already paid for.

    I start selling them as soon as people see them out in the field. Some buy them live at that time because they don't want to order 15 and don't do well with poults. Others just like to butcher their own. Who knows! Live or butchered is still the same price. One is obviously less work for me, but I'm always loath to part with my babies so the price is what it is. If they are under a certain age the price is $10 or $20 depending on size. I put a lot of work and time into them, so nobody is gonna get them when they are still cute and sweet cheaply. If they want them they will pay the price. With me they know what they are getting and they do.

    Here's the secret though. It does take time to build up a customer base and loyaltly. At first we had extra turkeys left over and would grind them up for use in things like tacos or chili. Once the world got out, and us being on a busy highway helped that, then more and more people started stopping. We even have people stop to take pictures with the big toms.

    If you have friends or relatives that will agree to purchase from you than go that route. Get them to spread the word at work or even post at church. Just remember if your state requires NPIP licencing you will need to have it before selling any type of poultry or product. Personally I don't like it, but until I can get hugh lobbists to work for me I'm just at the bottom of the hill and you know what rolls down there. The little guy always gets the shaft.
  7. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I have never sold any for Thanksgiving but the going rate in my area is up to $4.50. I have a couple extra males, so this will be my first year processing my own. I'm sad but excited. Can't wait to see what they taste like.

  8. Celie

    Celie Songster

    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
    Delicious [​IMG]
  9. I have no problems selling my Chicken eggs but the Turkeys well I might have a few buyers here lately from word of mouth my Daughter has told me that some of her Teachers that buy our eggs have been asking about the Turkeys for Thanksgiving I will keep my fingers crossed[​IMG].

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