Nov 17, 2007

It's Time Turkeys.... Sorry y'all.

It was a beautiful Morning..... I took the calender out of the turkey pen months ago so they wouldn't know Thanksgiving time was quickly approaching.
I went out to their pen, and they gathered around me as usual expecting feed. All was going well.....

Someone must have tipped Tom off... He charged me to protect his flock. Mean sucker he is! He knew I was there to take some of his girls, and a few of his buddies too. It was his job to stop me.

Yoooooo Hoooooo Turkeys..... Where are you?

Try as they might, I found em. I picked the 5 who needed to go first because they were getting to heavy for their bird legs.
When I took them out of the pen. Tom was not impressed.

"Darn!!!! Foiled Again!!"

The turkeys and I had a nice ride in the car. (Note To Self.... Next time you plan to go to the processors with turkeys, make sure the trailer is actually at your house and not in use by your father-in-law!) Transporting 5 turkeys in 5 half 55gal barrels in the back of your Suburban is NOT the ideal way to do it. (Thank Goodness we could roll down the windows!)

We made it!! The turkeys were kinda happy to get off of the farm. (did I mention that turkeys are pretty darn dumb?) They hopped out and looked around....

"Cool! Nice Place!"
Then they saw it.

"Uh Oh.. this cant be good!"

'IT' was the killing cones. This is where they very quickly turn from animals to meat. (**NOTE**There is some blood in the next picture, but it's very small. If you want to see what it looks like up close, just click on the picture. If not, just scroll past it, it's not bad, I promise.) The man places the turkey into a cone, where his head pops out the bottom, then in one swift cut he is gone. Then they bleed out. No pain. Its fast. Don't worry.

This was Worker #4's first time going with me to have birds processed.... I told him what to expect.... I was a little bit worried about his excitement. I have done it many time.. But It is NOT a fun thing. He looked like he was going to get candy or something! geesh!

Until he actually saw the transformation from Animal to meat. (whew... death is never something any of us look forward to causing... But it's part of life, and it's plain old fact, if you eat meat... something died to give it to you.). "Thank You Turkey."

The Little Foreman in Pink has been here several times with me.... she watches very closely like always to make sure everything is ok... and she even protects worker #4. (She is a kind and loving Foreman.)

Don't worry about worker #4.. after the first one he was very interested in the process. And was just fine.

So was LFIP.. as always.

After the yucky killing cones the turkey (now meat) is put into a big tub of hot water for a few min to soften its feathers.

Then it's into the Plucker...

This Plucker is a very cool thing!! I could watch it all day, so could the kids.... Its kinda like a BIG washing machine tub thingie..... It spins the birds (now meat, not birds) round and round (think amusement park ride if it helps)
anyway... inside the washing machine-tub-like-thingie there are a bunch of little rubber fingers... and in less than 1 min.. they take off every single feather!! (Did you know a grown turkey has over 3,500 feathers??) and in less than 1 min they are all gone!! too cool man!! just too cool!

They spray water into the spinning-ride-washing-machine-like-thingie and all the feathers come out the front onto the floor to be taken away.

Click on the pic for full-sized view.
Then the meat goes into the next room.
Where some amazing man works. He can dress a turkey in less than 2 min..... He's like a samurai warrior and his sword. cept he is a butcher with a knife.
So, I guess not the same at all. hmmm

Look at that man work! Its like a dance..... Ok, it's not like a dance at all... but he sure knows what he's doing.

Look at the size of that bird!!! I am very Thankful.

I am thankful my family can raise our own food.

I am thankful I know everything that ever went into that bird.

I am thankful I know it lived a very good and spoiled life.

I am thankful He died quickly and painless.

I am thankful to have him for my Thanksgiving Day Meal.

And so will my Thanksgiving Day guests.

Thank you again Turkey.

(I'm also thankful I have this guy to do the dirty work for me this year!)
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8 amazing comments. Talk To Me!!:

Anonymous said...

Dana - Great pictures, and great story, as always. I am a vegetarian (it's just a taste thing), and my husband is not. However, I very much identify with raising your own birds for food. Nothing could be more wonderful than knowing exactly where your food comes from, especially your meats and fowl. We are looking forward to raising chickens in the spring and enjoying their meat and egg benefits. I think it will be much easier to eat something that has been under our watchful eyes all season! Wish me luck, and thanks again for your humor. --- Murron

Elsa said...

You are blessed to have a processor! Butchering turkeys is not an enjoyable task. Thank you for the story and great photos.

Anonymous said...

Too cool! thanks for sharing this!

Dana said...

Oh it is great knowing every single thing about this meat before we eat it. Altho to tell you the truth? I think its my inner-control-freak that makes me do it! lol I trust no one to do it as good as me. **sigh** being perfect is a big cross to bear.. but someone has to do it! lol

And you betcha I know I'm blessed to have this man to do the dirty work...
I could do it too if he let me use his plucker. but I'm too big of a whiner to do that big of a bird by hand.....

thanks for the comments y'all!!!
Makes me skip and sing when I get a comment.

Kathy said...

How big are those birds (I mean meat)???? WOW

Dana said...

I'm not the only thing on this farm that's plus sized! lol

The BIG boy weighed in at 47lbs before processing. I need to weigh em now to get their dressed weight. will update. but yes.... those are some BIG birds!

You know what they say bout Texas... every-things bigger! :)

Sherri said...

Wow, you are so lucky to have a processor nearby that will do your birds!

Happy Thanksgiving! :)

PS: I hadn't seen the Little Foreman In Pink since the TV really need to stop putting the Miracle Gro in her milk! She's getting so big, and cute as a bug's ear.

Dana said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you too!!

Yes she is getting too big too fast.
I should STOP the miracle Grow??
Darn it! I thought the miracle part was she would stay small!! Maybe thats why she is so tall!geesh. ;)

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