Today was the day we took the turkey flock to the processor. And, for all that R might say things like - "It was about time." and "Thank goodness their gone." - it isn't always all that simple for us on the farm when the turkeys leave for their "trip to the park."
We raise turkeys for the expressed purpose of selling them for meat and consuming some of them ourselves. And, we have absolutely NO problem with doing this as we feel we do our best to treat the birds well and would far rather know that the birds lived well, and were raised in ways that we believe are sustainable and lead to healthier birds (and healthier meat).
And, so, there is a great sense of accomplishment when we finally manage to get the birds to the processor and we can begin to deliver our product to others who want a free range turkey.
We also have come to believe, after a few years of raising our own poultry, that these birds taste better. In fact, it is difficult to wait for the first taste of turkey. So, there is a great amount of anticipation as we wait for the Thanksgiving dinner.
The whole process of raising these birds has its share of worries and cares. They are neither horribly difficult, nor horribly easy to take care of. But, there is still plenty that can go wrong and they do take a good chunk of our time. And, as the birds get closer and closer to the point that we will take them to the processor, the more we realize that there will be great relief in taking them in and getting them to those who will enjoy them for dinner.
But then there is also the part of us that will miss this flock of knock-kneed, tomato rugby playing gobblers who can't help but participate in playground style 'I'm bigger and tougher than you' battles as they mature. So, you have to mix in a little sadness to get a better picture of the actual complexity of our feelings this time of year.
But, predominant in all of this is our sense that we are doing our best to do this the right way and for the right reasons.
Tune in tomorrow - more coming your way on this!