*This is a repost from last April, before I had many followers. But it is totally relevant, because we loaded out turkeys last Monday and Tuesday nights. Just imagine everything covered in snow and it’s basically the same thing.*
One of our flocks goes to market tonight. They are somewhere around 20 weeks old (I can’t remember exactly, should have asked hubby.)
The first half went out last night. Ten semi loads. Average weight per turkey was just over 44 lbs. That is a GREAT weight! (And we are paid per pound.) I would love to show you a pic of the birds at this age, but I just couldn’t get a good one. Maybe next time. :)
The loading crew starts around 8 PM. Hubby helps them. Last night, he came in, showered, and stumbled up to bed at 3 AM. (I say “stumbled” because I heard every move he made. Apparently too tired to be quiet.)
I’ve never watched them do this, because quite frankly, 44 lb, aggressive, waist high birds kind of scare me. But this is my understanding: there are a few guys who “herd” the turkeys by waving plastic feed sacks at them.
Then, they put them on this “escalator” that takes them to the truck.
And the truck takes them to the meat packing plant.
Which processes the meat and sends it to Subway (and some other places.) Yeah, seriously. Our plant supplies all of Subway’s turkey west of the Mississippi River. So eat turkey at Subway!
This is one of our 4 finishers, where the turkeys live from 6 weeks of age to market age (around 20 weeks…sometimes more or less depending on conditions of the flock.)
This whole process occurs about once every 9 weeks. Then, after the flock is processed and whatnot, we get a check! That’s right, my hubby, the Farmer, gets paid approximately once every 2 months.
But better than this:
…which was going on across the road, and only happens once a year. No wonder farm families are so frugal. It’s hard to make a budget when there are so many variables.
So there was another glimpse into the life of a turkey farmer (and his family.) I can hear the first semi pulling away right now. They kept waking me up last night, but I really shouldn’t complain, should I?
Got any turkey related questions for future Turkey Tuesday posts?