The Turkeys are GROWING!
So, my husband came home one day last March and informed me that his friend had three turkeys for us. I was a bit hesitant....but I went with it. I had heard and read some things that said that turkeys and chickens shouldn't be in the same areas, that they are dirty, stinky, etc. BUT, I saw these eight little babies, and here we are....now FIVE turkeys later.
We do keep our chickens and turkeys together, and so far, this has posed no problems. In fact, they get along great! The larger turkeys are even protective of the little ones. It's pretty cute!
People always ask us what we are going to do with our animals (pets is the term most used). And we politely reply, "We harvest them when they (and we) are ready."
Generally, city people are horrified, because, "HOW can you eat your PETS?"
Well, are they pets? Yes, and No. We treat them exceptionally well, We love them, we play with them, and they are pastured in a natural environment. We enjoy them, they enjoy us, and they live a good life. They get to choose whether they want to play outside under the trees and sunshine, or go inside to their spacious coop. They grow up happy!
However, let's be honest. When you have over 40 mouths to feed on a small lot, and babies keep coming, something just has to be done. And Joe and I really LOVE that we know what our food ate, how they were treated, and that they were happy.
As Michael Pollan has said, "You are what what you eat eats."
And, unless you are a vegetarian, the meat you eat generally supports the big food industries, feed lots, and slaughterhouses....ALL, without fail, exceptionally cruel places. I have heard that when you eat meat from these places, you are actually ingesting the energy--the fear, the stress, the various bad natural hormones---along with, of course, the poisonous medications and unnatural hormones these poor animals are fed to get the biggest animal possible for production. And let's not even go into poultry!
(I recommend you watch the documentary, "Food, Inc." if you haven't yet. And another good one is "Frankensteer." These shows were the beginnings of our own attitude change about meat.)
Admittedly, not everyone is able to grow and raise their own meat. We were there once, since we lived in Las Vegas, NV for more than 50 years--along with the accompanying "rules" against certain animals. We solved the problem of "clean" meat by generally shopping at Whole Foods. They have a humanity system, in which the meats are numbered according to how well they are raised. Even the lowest level of humane treatment is still WAY better than how most animals are treated before they are killed, injected with more chemicals and salts, and shipped lengthy distances to the grocery stores. For us, it was worth the extra money, especially after we realized we just don't need ALL the meat we were eating before. Americans eat just way too much meat.
On a very small homestead like ours, every animal (and plant for that matter) needs to have some type of purpose, or space is wasted. Our animals have lots of room to roam, and once again, they are happy animals. They would not be happy...or healthy... in overcrowded, disease-ridden conditions.
So, Yes, we do eat our animals. It's good for them. And it's good for us too. And we make no apologies for that.
Well, on that note---this post was intended to be about how fast turkeys grow! The first picture was taken in April, and the grown up one was just last week. So---very fast. But I began writing and realized that I was just bound to get the same old question. And now here is the answer!