Turkey Party

No one really thought that all 12 baby turkeys would grow up into big turkeys, but the man took very good care of them. He will miss them.

He wanted to give them to our friends for Thanksgiving, and I had always been hesitant as to how that was going to play out, as I was not really looking forward to slaughtering 12 turkeys. Then he tells me his plan, let each family slaughter their own. Ha! Novel idea.

Today was the day, and the weather was spectacular. I was relieved that they were penned last night, as sometimes if we don’t catch them early enough they roost high up in the trees. But this morning he felt sorry for them, being cooped up when they like to get out right away in the morning, so he let them out.

We had some great helpers to get them rounded up again, when it was “time.”




It was also a “bring your own bird” party, and a few ducks were processed as well.


They were beautiful birds.



Andy came up with an amazing creation of pvc pipe… that would fit on the end of an electric drill, which would spin very fast and remove most of the feathers.


It worked like a charm and saved a lot of time.



The birds are quickly and humanely killed, and then dipped into hot water which softens the feathers so they can be easily plucked.


We had some expert and very eager helpers.





The man will miss his turkeys, which makes me a little nervous. He will probably want 100 next year.


Goosey brought me a big fat hen, what a real treat, and I have already forgotten the name. Her children were protesting this morning where she was taking Mrs. What’s-It’s-Name, and I will rectify this name fog problem in the morning. Obviously too much egg nog. πŸ˜‰




Yes, we keep the feet, and no they are not nasty. Well, yes they are very nasty to begin with, but you dunk them in the hot water and peel off the layer of nastiness and the outer nasty nails, leaving underneath clean feet and toes. Ok, I know you are saying YUCK! But chicken, duck or turkey feet are a key ingredient in rich bone broth, full of collagen…



Keeping the beautiful turkey feathers.


and this was the last turkey.





There was one last turkey, the smallest hen, that was promised to remain alive for 5 year old Nettie, who could not make it to the party.



Then it was time to eat. The amazing Stephanie made carpaccio of Elk…







I really just wanted to drink eggnog and rum all night, divine, but there were other delights. One of Goosey’s homeschool classes is for all her children to learn how to cook. This was one of her children’s projects.


13 thoughts on “Turkey Party

  1. I finally got a chance to peak into your life. What Spectacular views ! Beautiful !
    Its nice to know you through KFC ( keeping a family cow forum)
    Looks like your life is full of blessings as well. And happy children too.
    Love the turkeys. We raise Royal Palms.
    Shalom: Renee

    • Ok, to admit, it was pretty humiliating, but I did not care. When I saw my friend with those two half gallon jars of yellow eggnog, half raw whipped cream, I wanted to hide them in the refrigerator, in the back. I was cooking, cooking, cooking and so did not partake of wine yet, but when I was ready, I first broke into the eggnog and rum. Honestly, I had never had anything that luscious, and being in a raw milk famine made it worse. The kids started asking “what is that?” and I tried to ignore them, or change the subject to draw their attention away from the jar. I knew once the kids got a hold of it, it would be drained right away. How rude of me, but I did not care. When everyone started making fun of me as I poured my second glass, I pulled the old “oH, my cow died, and I don’t have any raw milk, and waaa, waaa, waaa” and told them that I don’t care one bit, this is the most fabulous thing I have ever had. BUt after two glasses, I had to pour some quickly for those whom I knew would adore it as well. The kids had sniffed it out, and it was gone in a jiffy. (of course without the rum.) xoxo πŸ˜‰

  2. Thank you for the great afternoon and the lovely gift of the heritage breed turkey. Winky was the name of the Cornish roaster who was not ready for the freezer in September, and I really have no idea why my kids became attached to her… enjoy every bite of her!
    The cake is one I grew up with, a German sunken apple kuchen. We used this site for the basic recipe and made small tweaks: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/09/sunken-apple-and-honey-cake/.
    The aged eggnog recipe that we need to try next is here: http://ruhlman.com/2015/11/holiday-classic-aged-eggnog-2/ YUM!

    • Oh Goosey, it was too much fun! We thoroughly savored Winkey last night, and tonight are having chicken stew, and the bone broth is simmering on the stove. Thank you so much. You were right. Winkey is bigger than the turkeys. We look so forward to learning how to make your gingerbread and apple kuchen… and eggnog! xoxo

  3. I would love to see how you end up cooking your turkey(s). Beautiful birds like that deserve good culinary treatment and I’m sure you’ve got something delicious planned. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Unfortunately, if I don’t write things down, then I forget. If I write it on something, then I usually lose it, hence the handiness of this blog on the internet. But, I have not ever done a post on brining, which I have done for the last few turkeys, and I can’t remember from year to year how I do it, so this year I’ll try and do a post, as I go along. But, I brine the turkey for three days, submerged in a pan in the refrigerator, with some proportions of salt and water… I love to use kombucha, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, cloves, orange peels, lots of garlic, allspice, hot peppers, honey… and then the fourth day I roast it low and slow in the oven. Mmmmm. He has always insisted on a traditional ham for Thanksgiving because he hated turkey, until I started brining. πŸ™‚

  4. Jamie, how fun! I love the idea of a poultry butchering party. We had 36 turkeys this year and did them a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad we didn’t wait because yesterday was a windchill of 0 here and 3″ of snow fell the day before. Your turkeys were beautiful – what breed were they? The closest hatchery to us only has white ones – how boring. (And I question genetics and all of that…) Next year maybe we can find a different source of a heritage breed.

    • Oh Amy, we really lucked out with the weather! Oh my, 36 turkeys, whew! Good for you! The breed is a Narragansett heritage turkey, and they were beautiful, but a bit small. Probably because we should have started them earlier. I love the heritage bronze turkey, bigger, but have found in the past that they grew to be very aggressing and mean, and these birds were very docile and sweet. Not the smartest birds though. πŸ˜‰

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