Turkeys should live outside…
Since nature has the most sustainable ecosystem and since ultimately agriculture comes out of nature, our standard for a sustainable world should be nature’s own ecosystem.— Wes Jackson
Pasture-raised, organic-fed whole roasting turkeys: $10/lb
We raise Broad-Breasted White Turkeys. These are similar in appearance and size to what you would find in the grocery store, but these birds are raised totally different.
Organic-fed… Our turkeys eat organic feed from New Country Organics, composed of soy-free, organic grains, mineral-rich kelp, and probiotics. They also eat as much fresh grass, plants, insects, and worms as they desire. (see below)
Pasture-raised… Our turkey poults (chicks) are initially raised in a brooder for about 4 weeks. Once out of the brooder, our turkeys stay on pasture. Our pastures are a mix of warm and cool season grasses and wildflowers. Our pastures receive NO herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, or other synthetic chemicals.
Semi Free Range… Our turkeys are not kept in “confinement houses”, barns, cages, or permanent paddocks. They are moved frequently across our farm pastures using portable net fencing to keep them safe from predators like coyotes and bobcats.
What our turkeys eat: Our turkeys eat a number of food items each day. Commercial organic turkey feed, fresh grass, insects, worms, and other pasture creatures that turkeys enjoy eating. The feed we use is produced by New Country Organics in Waynesboro, Virginia. The feed we use is Certified Organic, Soy-Free, and contains no GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms). Our feed contains Organic Kelp (a large species of seaweed) that contains over 70 different minerals. In addition, our feed also contains a number of fermentation products; these are beneficial bacteria that help the birds absorb and utilize all the vitamins and minerals in their diet. Here is the list of ingredients for the feed we use:
INGREDIENTS: Organic Peas, Fish Meal, Organic Corn, Organic Wheat, Organic Rice Protein, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Alfalfa Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Dried Organic Kelp, Monocalcium Phosphate, Salt, DL Methionine, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Menadione Dimenthylpyrimidinol Bisulfite, Riboflavin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenic Acid, Niacin Supplement, Choline Chloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Manganese Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Organic Vegetable Oil, Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Extract, Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast culture, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation product, Dried Bacillus licheniformis Fermentation product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation product. Hydrolyzed yeast, Brewers Dried Yeast, Active Dry Yeast, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation product.
Despite the deceptive marketing of some poultry and egg producers, chickens and turkeys are not vegetarians; they are omnivores. They eat fresh grass, insects, worms, grubs, and any other bug or crawling thing that may cross their path. When chickens and turkeys eat a wide variety of food, like they were designed to do, and they eat food that is full of healthy proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, then their meat is significantly more nutrient dense than what you could ever find in a factory farm.
We also think that animal welfare is not something we can ignore when it comes to butchering (aka “processing”) our animals. Humans are omnivores. We eat meat. There is no getting around the fact that an animal must die to when we choose to eat meat. I don’t think this is something we need to shy away from or try to talk our way around it. Our animals live an incredibly enjoyable life, and we strive to only let them have one bad moment in their lives. This obligation we have placed upon ourselves means that we decided to process our turkeys on our farm. Legally, we are not allowed to process our sheep (or any other mammal) on our farm and then sell the meat. Fortunately, we are allowed to do this with poultry, and we are glad about this. We are able to verify ethical and humane treatment of our animals from day 3 of life (when the poults (chicks) are delivered from the hatchery) until processing day. We believe that when we are intimately involved with the life, growth, and the death of an animal, we will treat the animals with greater respect, and we will develop a deeper appreciation of every meal we eat.