sustainable food

Our farm raised Thanksgiving turkeys

Thanksgiving Turkeys

Our Farm Raised Thanksgiving Turkeys

I have to say I was a little intimidated by the task of butchering our own turkeys. I had never done this before. We had spent a lot of time making sure that the turkeys were happy.  They had free range of the farm and plenty to eat.  I had did my research and found out that turkeys can act a lot like a goat when it comes to eating weeds and seeds from plants you just don’t want around.  They ate many of the weeds that were overgrowing some of our garden space and were happy sprawling around our farm, gobbling throughout the day and night.  There was an attachment when it came time for the butchering.

This video was produced at the CBS Youtube channel here

Anxiousness before the butchering

Killing an animal for some can be an intense or even an offensive task.  I have had worked in kitchens for years, dealing with meat that had already been butchered.  Even I was somewhat put of from the task of killing animals.  When it came to time to say goodbye to Zed and Turk I was a little anxious.

The blade falls

More experienced members of the farm that I live on guided me thru the process.  They calmed the turkeys down, soothed them, and quickly cut the animals throats with a very sharp knife.  The animals were then hung upside down to bleed out.  Once the blood is drained from the turkeys they are then submerged in a pot of boiling hot water for a minute or two.

The turkeys are then hung up again and the feathers are removed.

The feathers come out easily if dipped into the warm water.  Once the feathers are removed the turkey then looks like a turkey you would buy at a grocer.  All that was left was to remove the organs which are easily stripped away from the carcass of the bird.  We saved the some of the organs like the heart, lungs, and kidneys, and neck for making gravy stock.  The birds were then refrigerated. That’s pretty much the process.  It was a lot easier than I thought and much more rewarding.

A rewarding aftermath

A felt good after the process.  I had learned a new skill that is useful when dealing with most domestic fowl.  A friend of mine asked us if we felt sad after the process.  I would have to say no.  The turkeys had a great life before they were butchered. How bad do you feel when picking up a turkey at the grocer for thanksgiving?   I myself, realize that I am an omnivore. When the creator decides that It is time for my soul to leave this body, I too will be for food for plants and other animals like insects and worms.  It is the circle of life.  I am glad to take part in it.