Wednesday, November 11, 2015

2015 FREE RANGE TURKEYS

So Hi Folks,  2015 turkeys will be ready the week of Thanksgiving. We have 26 birds this year, about half are spoken for. We have never had this many birds in the past, and I would like to think that means we have finally got the kinks in this system worked out. We started this year with 33 birds. Lost a couple in the first week which is expected. But any others were due to stupid turkeys. They pile on top of each other to sleep and for warmth.  Much like a pile up in a football game.  In the process they smash who ever is on the bottom of the pile and suffocate them. Pathetic! This is nature.

To purchase you may contact us at deekeith@gmail.com, text my cell at 513-477-2168 or call the house at 513-724-3313. We look foward to hearing from you.

 But we also feel what started as an experiment -hobby project has been something we think we want to be able to continue to do: Clean, Sustainable, Humanely raised, Antibiotic free, animals/turkeys. The true test of course is in taste and theses birds are not the ones you will get in the grocery store for sure. The birds are going through about 40-50 pounds of feed a day now, on top of what they forage. They spend their days out of doors in an open area, that is fenced in order to keep them safe from predators. At night we have a group of large dog pens attached to one another. These have roosts and are covered to protect from rain and some wind. They can move around freely inside these though. Each morning Larry goes out and lets them out so they can fly and move around in a larger area and they get plenty of sunshine. They get fresh water throughout the day through a watering system that provides what are called chicken nipples for the birds to peck on and release water. And they receive a grain mix of turkey feed twice a day as well as foraging.
So we lost no birds this year to predators which is a real accomplishment, as far as we are concerned. We caught or trapped  6 raccoons this year but not before they took a couple of good sized ducks. Our ducks provide us with eggs as well as our chickens. Duck eggs are great for baking they make a wonderful cheese cake.
I spoke with our butcher person last evening and it looks like they will not be able to butcher until the Monday before Thanksgiving, so we should have birds available for pick up Tuesday late afternoon and Wednesday. Someone will be here for that all day each of those days. Birds come to you clean , fresh not frozen, weighted and ready for the oven , brining if you desire , and the giblets are in the body in plastic bags , be certain to remove those. Guidelines suggest that one should plan on about 2 pounds of turkey per adult.  More if you want left overs because one must also account for bone weights.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

2014 Turkey Updates

Well here we are approaching Thanksgiving and I have posted nothing on this site since the 2013 turkey entries. This year we have 18 birds, we are down to 4 not yet spoken for. So thanks to all of our loyal customers/friends. The plan is to butcher on Monday November 24th of Thanksgiving week, meaning that birds can be picked up any day that week including Monday. If you decide to come on Monday make it after 5 so we have time to get back from Adams county with the butchered birds. Rest of the week someone will be here anytime to deal with birds. We have done our best this year to stay with a GMO free and organic feed regimen it has not been easy. Last month feed became more difficult to get and we are going through 50 pounds every 48 hours. There is also a lot of waste in the GMO free feeds since they are a mix of grains and they are also very powdery, much simply lands on the ground and is not eaten. We made the decision to go to pellets which are not GMO/organic because we could not get enough feed to keep our birds well fed. Not what we wanted after putting in the extra money and efforts to remain organic/GMO free. So for the first through 14 weeks they were free of GMO's and organic, no antibiotics or feed enhancements. Weeks 14-20 we had some mixed feeds still no antibiotics, or feed enhancements, but mixed organic/GMO free and non. They are much better dispositioned animals than last years aggressive group. They where acquired locally which may also of helped.   If you still are in need of a bird let me know ASAP. When they are gone they are gone. They are still 3 dollars a pound dressed out, we estimate 10-18 pound birds but that is just a guess. The Mount Healthy Hatchery describes as follows:
 Mamouth Bronze TurkeysOur Bronzes are outstanding examples of this breed. Handsome, colorful birds that attract attention whenever seen. Hens average 18 to 20 lbs. and toms average 30 lbs.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Contact information for turkeys, 513-724-3313  or deekeih@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

2013 Home Grown, antibiotic free, fresh turkeys

So its time to talk turkey again. I have a few pics to share but these birds are the same type we did the first year. The traditional large white bird that everyone associates with Thanksgiving. We  got these birds in early July then ordered a second batch the last week of July.  These birds will dress out in the 15-30 pound range. They are again free range and also fed an antibiotic free,  flock building, feed. They consume massive amounts of food and produce equal amounts of waste. They have culled the herd themselves by victimization of any bird that appeared weak. So that's a whole other post about the social order and behaviors of turkeys. And what do we care, our plan EAT THEM.
At this point they are full grown and will be ready the week of Thanksgiving to be picked up. We have begun taking orders and when they are spoken for that is it for this year. They will be selling for $3.00 per pound, which seems high if your used to the store bought frozen chemically enhanced birds, but very reasonable for a fresh not frozen, humanely raised, anti-biotic free, chemical free bird. You will need to pick up your bird Monday evening, Tuesday or Wednesday any time all day at our home. For directions or to reserve your bird call 513-724-3313, leave a message if no one is home. Or email me at deekeith@gmail.com


Traditional Large Breasted Whites 2013





The birds we had last year 2012 were heritage breed (below) while they were tasty, and gentle they were also small. Not so this year. So one bird this year should fill your table with much bounty.
Heritage Breed Turkeys from 2012

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Turkey Updates







I have had several people ask about when the turkeys will be ready. Since we want them fresh and fat we will wait as long as possible to do this. The Weekend before Thanksgiving most likely. That said I'll be contacting an Amish farmer today to set this up. In the mean time here are some updates.



video

A few weeks ago, Larry told me had read that turkeys responded to music. So Maddy and I took my laptop outside and put on the Bee Gees and the Stones, The turkeys were out free ranging and came running over the porch where the laptop was sitting and were completely silent as the music played curiously listening.
One can also call to them and they respond nicely with a group response. Listen here. There are 2 videos here.

video

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The ongoing predator problem.



The good news is we have lost no more animals this past week. The turkeys look great fattening nicely and the males are strutting their stuff for the females. Puffing up those feathers and walking around like the true birds they are. I got say though, these birds are a gas to watch.
The birds are contained in a large dog kennel now that is moved around so the droppings don't fall in the same place and they can have fresh forage each day. They receive a high protein anti-biotic free feed and they eat a lot, on top of the forage.
In comparison the chickens get about 16-18% protein along with free ranging for bugs and plants. They also receive extra light in the form of a light inside the house at night on a timer, in order to get them to lay eggs. When the sunlight drops below 12 hours they stop laying. The turkeys on the other hand need at least 20% protein and will not willing eat the same mix the chickens eat. They have a real affection for leaves that drop from the trees though. They will actually fight over falling leaves. Which I find fascinating, since typically this occurs in the fall and we as a population eat these birds at Thanksgiving and at Christmas.

The predator problem persists, last night the coyotes where out and you could hear them at the edge of the woods behind the house. Our greatest problem has been by far the raccoons. They climbed the cage and got in by pushing back the mesh on the top of the cage and once they had killed a bird/turkey they where then not easily dissuaded from returning.
The turkeys now have a large wooden house that latches shut at night. It is not safe to leave them in anything other than a closed house with a latch after dark. The raccoons seem quite resourceful and I have visions of them plotting as a group. They know how to use tools and are willing to take a rock and beat the daylights out the chicken pen roof until the nails come out. So it is no surprise they seem able to get through most of what we have tried.

When they couldn't get to the turkeys last week, they took to killing the ducks. So both the ducks are now gone. First we lost one duck and Larry caught it in the act. He was not able to get a shot off before the raccoon had drug the animal through the back of the fence and killed it. This was so sad for the remaining duck since they mate for life.
Mr. Duck looked for close to a week for his mate before he committed suicide by going under the chicken house and refusing to come out at dark. We would normally pen up the ducks, but he left us a note about not wanting to go on with out his love-mate and a bunch of existential crap about life's meaning. So when we tried to find him the next morning it was clear he had sacrificed himself to the raccoon gods. And they willing accepted his sacrifice.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

We lost a turkey today! So now there are 15!

Well it's week 4 and the birds look like miniature turkeys. When larger animals come around they puff up their chests, and fan out their tails to make them selves appear larger. We moved them into the large dog kennel and this way they can be moved to various locations for fresh ranging through out the property. When we came home today and checked on them it appears a varmit has made a whole and eaten one. Nothing left but feathers of turkey 16. Raccoon during the day? Maybe, not sure! We are putting up a motion detector with floods and hopefully at night that wil scare any predators off.