Turkey Day with MP & AussieSharon - photo heavy

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by MissPrissy, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    Yesterday was the big day for choosing our Thanksgiving turkey.

    AussieSharon came over. We had a quick brunch of a mexican style breakfast casserole. Later we had hot coffee and my chocolate sour dough (the same on some of you got in the mail last week).

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    Then it was time for turkey.

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    These are Bronze Turkeys.

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    They are 27 weeks old.

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    They are very sweet and easy going.

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    I have raised 18 of them. No leg problems. No illness. All of them are fat and healthy and active. The females can fly.

    Sharon and Heather came out to choose a turkey and to help pluck some ducks and some cockerals.

    Sharon chose a 'small' hen.

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    Heather chose one of the smaller toms.

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    They were too big for my scale. Even after they were dressed. They top the scales at 40+ lbs. Ooops!

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    Heather's dressed turkey is laying on a 50lb feed bag.

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    Just so you get an idea of what 'size' these are.

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    My turkey is now resting in a brine of 1lb of salt and 1lb of raw sugar dissolved in water. The ice chest was then filled with a icey watery slush. I added the turkey and after the giblets were cleaned he was topped off with more ice. He will brine in his icey bath until time to cook.

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    This is a 60 quart igloo cube ice chest on wheels. As you can see he filled it up. Sharon and Heathers birds wouldn't fit in their ice chest. They bagged theirs in a 5 gallon ziplock bag with ice.

    I calculated these turkeys to reach their proper 28 week harvest date to coincide with this week.

    They are free ranged with a closed locked barn at night. They eat nearly 25 lbs of feed each day. Over the last 3 weeks their diet was heavily supplimented with cracked corn.

    They each had a gorgeous thick pad of fat in the cavity opening. Their organs where just gorgeous. The gizzard was wrapped in fat. The livers were firm and large. They are beautiful and healthy birds,

    If you have a chance to raise your own turkey I highly recommend that you do so. You will not regret the effort you put into these birds.

    Thanks Sharon and Heather. We had a great day. The kids were pleasantly tired and so were we. LOL

    Oh, one more thing.

    The biggest of the tom turkeys are still walking around enjoying the farm. [​IMG]
     
  2. Cason

    Cason Chillin' With My Peeps

    Looks good. Will you brine them until Thursday?
     
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Brine until Wednesday. Then soak in fresh ice water 12 hours. Then set to come to room temp to prepare for cooking.
     
  4. Rte.66_chicks

    Rte.66_chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is sooo cool! I suggested getting a turkey or two to raise for next year, but my DH has a real aversion to eating anything that's been walking around in our yard, even if it's a ninja roo. I'd have to eat the whole thing myself, and get a store-bought one for him![​IMG]
     
  5. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    Wow those were some monsters! I got mine back the other day from the processor at 21 and 22 pounds dressed out.
     
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    The hanging scale couldn't weigh them. They were too big and just sprung the spring off the scale.
     
  7. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    HOLY COW! I don't have a hanging scale so I held them on a bathroom scale. Mine were 6 months old but free ranged for 4 months with my chickens. They gained the most the last 2 months when I penned them up.

    What do you do with 18 turkeys? We are planning on doing 6-10 next year to cover all of Amanda's family and my family get togethers that involve turkey.
     
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Several I will keep for breeding of the standards. The BBB's I have 5 left. 3 are spoken for.
     
  9. Jennyhaschicks

    Jennyhaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2008
    Maine
    Cool! I believe we are going to do turkeys next year.
     
  10. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    MERRY LAND
    Quote:I think someone needs to get a bigger oven. I thought I did bad letting mine get to dress out at 26lbs.
     

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