To raise turkeys this year or not
OK, so here’s what’s going on. It is time for me to think turkeys. My supplier will have my turkeys available mid-June, so while everyone else is heading off on vacation, I’m thinking Thanksgiving. Ha! I’ve already had close to a dozen people ask if I will be raising turkeys again this year and if so, they want one! Wow! What a compliment! Thank you. But I am in a bit of a quandary. Do I raise turkeys?
This year I switched to organic feed for my chickens. While I knew the transition would be difficult for some of my customers, I really didn’t expect my numbers to be off this much. Last week, my numbers came back up a little. I sold 40% of what I would have sold last year at the market. That doesn’t surprise me. I expected a 50% change in my clients. I knew it would be hard. But I have also had weeks where I only sold 11% or 14% of my usual sales. That is difficult… We have only been at the market for 4 weeks this year. Maybe things will improve.
But it does make me seriously question raising turkeys. If my numbers are this far off, should I even raise turkeys this year. Will my customers make the price change? Will they be willing to make the same investment in their health as I choose by eating organic, pastured meats? At what price point is the time and effort it takes to raise and process turkeys worth to my customers? As much as I love you guys, I cannot lose money on this venture. Are customers willing to pay $7 – 8 or more per pound? Do I not raise organic turkeys and go back to a conventional feed?
If I do raise turkeys this year, I will raise the Broad Breasted White Turkeys. They are preferred. (Although I do have a handful of heritage birds available. If that is your preference, let’s talk.)
So many questions. So little answers. I could use feed back from you. What would you do?