Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Time for the Turkeys


The time has come; the time for turkeys. More specifically the time has come for turkeys to fill the freezer. Tables are set up, supplies gathered, buckets and bins ready to go; it's butchering time. 
Our turkeys not only supply meat for our family, they are also a county fair and 4H project. When we prepare to butcher our flock a cull selection is done first. Since my farmboy is the resident expert on poultry judging and selection, he did us the honors of scoring and sorting. 
The birds with the best conformation (meat distribution, leg and keel bone structure, and visual appeal) are kept in the 'show pen' or here labeled 'pen A'. Remaining birds are prepared and put away for family use. 
We butcher most of our turkeys as 'parts' meaning they are skinned and pieced (breast, thighs, legs). This is quicker and more efficient taking up much less storage space and making cooking a bit quicker and easier. In general we will butcher about 1/3 of our birds whole (meat on carcass). 

All that said, it is time to dawn the heavy blue apron and rubber boots...it's time for the turkeys!

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