A Turkey Story

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Your turkey was hatched on August 6th in Tangent, OR by Jenks Hatchery, a family hatchery located just a few miles north of us. We picked up the poults (turkey chicks) that morning and brought them back to our farm where they joined some broiler chicks in the brooder. They stayed in the warm brooder for a few weeks until they were feathered out and hardy enough to move out to pasture.

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For the first few weeks on pasture, they stayed with the broilers in bottomless, moveable pens. This protected them from any predators while still allowing them to forage for grass and bugs in the pasture. Every morning they moved to fresh pasture to maximize their foraging and optimize their impact on the pasture. As a result we have a beautiful green path going around the pasture due to the natural fertilization their manure provided. In addition to what they forage, they were fed a corn-and-soy free feed ration, milled locally in Brownsville by Union Point Feeds.

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Once the turkeys were about 7 weeks old, they had grown big enough that they were ready to move out of their moveable pens. At this point they were large enough that aerial predators wouldn’t bother them. They moved to a feather-net set-up, which consisted of electrified poultry netting (to protect from larger ground predators) and a cozy shelter (made from repurposed materials) to sleep in and hang out in if it was raining. This set up was also all portable so that the turkeys could be moved every few days to ensure that they always had fresh forage and didn’t over disturb any section of the pasture.

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At 16 weeks of age, the turkeys were all grown up and ready to fulfill their turkey destiny. The turkeys were processed Monday morning at an ODA-licensed facility. We are so thankful for the sacrifice the turkeys have made for all of our Thanksgiving dinners.

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We take great pride in knowing that our turkeys had a wonderful life that allowed them to fully express all their natural instincts. We thank you for choosing to support pasture-based farming – we really do believe it is better for the mind, body and soil!

Thanks again,

Scott and Jenni Fair Valley Farm