I love my turkeys. They have been thoroughly entertaining all summer long.
|#3 & #4 moving the turkeys from the brooder to the turkey pen.|
The rest have grown up big and strong and healthy. They've worked through the fall, clearing and fertilizing the garden. It's a little sad that there are only 6 left now. But they taste divine!
The butchering continues, with the hens averaging 16-17 pounds, and the toms all at just over 19 pounds.
Dad came over and showed me a couple of new tricks. How to remove the neck- just slice around the meat and then twist until the bone snaps, and how to shrink the legs. To make the bird more compact, with the bird on it's back, lift the legs toward the chest, until they're stuck out straight, and then push down. You can hear something pop. Then push the legs back down against the body. They stay there. It takes a lot less room in the freezer and in the roasting pot!
I solved the storage problem with clear recycling bags. They're a little bigger than necessary, and the plastic is thin, so I'm doubling them. Be careful though- some of them come 'scented'. Ewww.
I butchered the first rooster the other day. They are not ready yet. Only 4.3 pounds. Isn't he tiny, by comparison? So I have about a dozen little roosters who may be granted a reprieve until spring. I'm hoping they'll gain enough in the next few weeks to make it worthwhile to butcher them this year, but it's unlikely they'll double their weight before it's time to lock them up for winter. The coop isn't really big enough for all of them to get along peacefully. I may have to proceed to keep them from killing each other.
We lost another turkey to the wild life last week. I think, under the circumstances, that we're going to butcher all of them this year, rather than keeping three to breed. It would be a total piss off if they made it through the winter, just to have the wild life snatch them in the spring before they hatch any eggs. Which takes us a step back in the sustainability efforts. I bought turkeys who could breed naturally, so I could stop buying turkeys. I'm going to have to net the top of the turkey pen before I try it though.