What to Know: Thanksgiving Turkeys FAQ

When hearing about the turkey shortage, knowing the holidays are coming up, money might be tight, you might be wonderings, "Is a pasture-raised turkey really worth it?" I'll offer answers to a few common questions so you can decide for you and your family if it's time to make the switch or not!

1.What makes 4G Farm turkeys different?

I wrote about the difference between commercial turkeys and farm raised turkeys and how they are raised, more in depth here.  But a quick run down: our baby turkeys are brought to our farm when they are a few days old, spending their first few weeks in a warm and comfy brooder, where they are safe from predators, and the cold spring days, before they develop their big kid feathers.  Our boys help care for them, giving them pets, love, and socialization, so they are friendly.  When they are big enough that they can fight off predators themselves and can regulate their body temperatures, we move them out to pasture and a protected coop.  They have daily 14-16 a day access to explore and enjoy the outside.  At night we keep them in a coop to help protect them from the predators.   If you read the other blog post I wrote, commercial turkeys are raised VERY differently. 

2. Why is raising them on pasture a good thing?

Turkeys are omnivores.  It might sound gross to think about your food eating their food, but they LOVE to eat insects, rocks, and grass.  We put them on pasture to make sure they always have access to what they love so much.  Doing this also gives them fresh air and sunshine, and out of their coop (or a climate controlled building) and keeps them away from living in their waste, spreading disease and sickness.  When they are outside all day they are raised more naturally than any turkey found in the store. 

3. Are they healthier?

When an animal is raised on pasture, their meat is found to contain more nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins.  This is because of their diet - the grasses and plants they graze are dense in nutrients and omega fatty acids (particularly omega 3) that are not found in conventional grain only diets.  Also because of how we raise our turkeys, they are outside not living in a crowed building, so we never have to use antibiotics, hormones, or steroids in their entire lives.  They are clean and disease free when they reach their "no good very bad day". 

4. What about the taste?

Our turkeys are seriously the best I've ever had.  And I'm not just saying that.  Last year we brought a store bought and a farm raised turkey to my in-laws house for Christmas.  I didn't know which bird I was eating on my first plate, but the second I could literally taste the difference in how delicious the second one tasted.  Both brined the same, cooked the same, but raised differently - and the taste was evident. I can't state it enough.  IT WAS SOOO GOOD. 

5. What about the price?

I typed another blog post about why our prices are so much high than the grocery store.  And I recognize that this can be hard for some families who want the quality meat.  Our turkeys are not industrialized by any means.  They are a seasonal, artisan offering.  

We only raise a small quantity of birds so we don't exhaust the land or overcrowd the turkeys.  They are fed a high-quality grain to supplement their diet, and this grain can be expensive.  They are protected from predators only at night, but during the day we may lose a few to eagles or fox - which can raise the price when our supply goes down.  We also clean out their coop regularly, give them clean water, and daily labor.  All bring the price up.  We find it's worth the labor to have healthy, hearty, and delicious turkey, free of everything unnatural. 

6. How do I purchase a bird?

The direct link to purchase a turkey is here.  If you forget though, our website is pretty easy to remember: 4gfarm.store. Navigate through the filter to "chicken" (or turkey if I ever remember to change it...) and whole turkey will show up! 

7. How do I get the turkey for Thanksgiving?

We offer door drop off (called "ship" on the website, but we don't actually ship it) and farm pickup.  Door Drop Off is $5 - $10 depending on how far away you live from us.  We will email you to ask what the best day and time is for your family.  If you choose farm pickup it is free! Our pickup freezer did go down this summer, and we can't find a cheap enough one that's the right size for the farmstand.  So we will have a cooler at the farmstand labelled "pick up", and as long as it's cold enough outside your order will be waiting for you there! If you want the turkey closer to Thanksgiving, just email us and let us know!