My Pastured Turkey Model — 13 Comments

  1. There is quite the movement of killing your thanksgiving bird. On one hand you empower others to take an active part in where their food comes from and charge a premium price doing so. Downside is a long day of setup, handholding, and cleanup.

  2. Nicely said. I agree and am trying to learn this skill of having others pay for my food – currently I my chicken egg sales pay for almost all my feed for my chickens, quail and rabbits.

    I think that so far, though, my quail are not nearly as profitable as they should be since I’m not getting a meat yield yet – but that’s my fault since I’m not set up to brood them yet. Soon I will be and then I’ll have more meat instead of just the egss.

    • Check around you, my guy sells me birds at 1 buck a bird, for 2 a bird he raises them to 3 weeks, OUT OF THE BROODER TIME. I can’t justify that cost on my end, sometimes it works the other way, he is a specialist and all set up to do this. Since you slaughter at 5-6 weeks I only tractor my pastured birds for 2-3 weeks, then take girls if I need them and out come the shears.

      Quail eat about 2 pounds a month, for me that is about a dollar. 2 weeks is 50 cents, 3 is 75 so by paying for him to brood I am getting meat for 2.50 – 2.75 a bird.

      It may be better for you to do your own brooding and find 2-3 people like me, the key is everyone can’t do everything and thank God that all gives us the ability to add value to what we do for others.

  3. Question for Jack or anyone who keeps small animals or birds. When it’s time to slaughter a rabbit, quail, duck or chicken etc, does one have to bring the unlucky one well away from the others where they won’t see or hear their comrade or relative getting the chop or the twist. I imagine it would be terrifying on clutch to witness a kill, especially by the person who they see everday and are dependent on for food and water, also I imagine that the fear would weaken their immune system. I like the idea of being self sufficient with homstead food, I just dont fancy the end game bit!

    • No not really. A farmer friend when I was a kid said he shot a turkey with a 22 to slaughter it one time. That the next day the flock came after him and did so for a week, but based on my experience now I think it was BS. Old farmers are known for skill in BS to young kids you know, especially PA dutchy farmers.

      If you do it right there should not be noise or commotion.

      Don’t anamorphize. If you go in and chased down and beat one like a predator that would of course upset them. But when you take one away and it just doesn’t come back they don’t have a clue. When I processed quail last the cats and dogs were eating back bones, the ducks and geese were mingling around my feet. No one cared.

      We want our animals to never understand they are going to die, to just be here one moment and gone the next. To feel a bit each time we take a life but know we did it the best way it can be done. Quick, efficient, painless, with as little stress as possible.

      • “We want our animals to never understand they are going to die, to just be here one moment and gone the next. To feel a bit each time we take a life but know we did it the best way it can be done. Quick, efficient, painless, with as little stress as possible.”
        Well said sir.
        Jack, this is exactly how we treat all of the animals on our farm. We give them a wonderful life and they have one bad moment. I never enjoy taking an animal’s life but know in my heart that I have done my best by them. I always give thanks for their lives to provide nourishment to our family and patrons.

  4. Just a thought, Jack. Wouldn’t it be easier for you, to find people to go in on the initial purchase? The larger the order, cheaper the price per bird, and you don’t have to care for them or find buyers at the back end.

    • Please read the article. Seriously I don’t have room do to much more, I have to get people to take their own birds to slaughter, etc. If you can make the model YOU PROPOSE do it, seriously. Read the last two paragraphs twice.

  5. No, I think you misunderstood me. What I was suggesting was you ask your listeners if there were any who would be interested in going in on an order with you. Obviously they would have to be local , because when the birds are delivered, you give them a call, and they pick them up. More people going in on the order means less cost per bird, and now you DONT have to find buyers after they’ve grown to slaughter size.

    • Okay I get you, yea this still doesn’t work for me but it may work for some. To make this work you need brooding space for all the birds and are likely to end up caring for all for a lot of them for a week or two until the people show up to get them.

      Again this was an on the fly decision.

      • And I should add you certainly did read the last paragraph well enough! That thinking is exactly what you should be doing, how else can this work for _______. We just all have different blanks.

        To me though I get the birds for say 7 bucks that is about as low as it goes. I need to sell at say what, 10, local feed stores sell at 12 around here for this breed.

        Hence, if I got enough people to buy 50 I can make say 150 bucks, I am on the hook as well for all DOAs, etc. But yea I can see this working for people with the right market. My market of course is mostly people that do not have or can’t have animals.

    • I just don’t really have much, there are a lot of neighbors and there are dogs everywhere, we have two dogs that spend a lot of time outside, the property isn’t that big as well. So it is not a typical rural property. Hence my admission that others may not be able to do what I do the way I do it.