Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We celebrate Thanksgiving on Friday, rather than today, in order to give out-of-state guests time to travel. So today is clean-the-house day. But that got old so thought I'd report on the turkey adventure of yesterday.

After having the three selected turkeys penned into the inside portion of the peafowl pen day before yesterday, I thought it would be a simple matter of catching them the next morning to take to the butcher. They thought otherwise. One found a hole in the screen wire we didn't know was there and made her escape to the outer area. That is covered entirely with wire so I was able to crawl back out through the hole that is only big enough for a turkey and chase her back inside. However, we did not realize there was another hole in the screen wire going into the chicken house side. She found that and was out the door and gone. I managed to catch the two toms, who did not find the hen's escape routes, and stuffed them into the giant dog carrier.

With two turkeys safely penned, Johnny and I went around to the chicken yard and attempted to herd everyone back into the chicken house. They all went nicely... except the one turkey we were trying to catch. She flew up onto the roof of the chicken house. Oh well, we had others to choose from and they were inside. After being pummelled by a chicken house full of flying turkeys (while Johnny guarded the door and laughed), I finally caught another hen, stuffed her into the cage, and we were off. By this time I was not feeling so sad about murdering turkeys.

I was a little embarrassed at how small our birds were in comparison to the big broad-breasted things other people were bringing in. But when I went to pick up the nicely naked and wrapped turkeys, the butcher raved about my beautiful birds and said they were just the right size (slightly over 8, 10, and 11 pounds.) He told me that heritage turkeys, like mine, were going for $6 to $9 per pound right now.

We will be cooking the 11+ pound turkey tomorrow, which means it would have cost us between $66 and $99 (not that I would have bought one at that price). I think I'm in the wrong business. I should be raising my free-range, heritage turkeys to sell. But we'd have to repair the chicken wire first. And I'd want to don my riding helmet before trying to catch them.

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