Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Home Grown Turkey For Christmas Dinner (and the hard way we got there)

A home grown turkey for Christmas dinner was part of our vision when we started on the turkey raising journey.

I was so excited to raise two turkeys - one for Thanksgiving dinner and one for Christmas dinner.  It all seemed nostalgic to me.  I envisioned a male and female, happily living at LL Farm.  In the end, they would be my bragging rights at the holiday table.  

The idyllic vision that I had in my head, slowly turned into one trial after another.
Ahem...Did someone say homesteading was easy?  

To read about our journey of raising turkeys, click HERE.

The day came, and I think it is safe to say that we were all ready for it.  My parents came over to help and we ended up with a 26 pound turkey that I put in the freezer.  

On Christmas eve, we put that humongous turkey in the oven to bake 'low and slow'.
The taste was definitely different from the store bought turkeys that we are accustomed to.  After all, it was pasture raised, compared to some poultry farms where the poor things don't see sunlight or get to roam in the grass.

So to sum up our turkey raising experience:

Would I consider it a failure?  No - we did raise a turkey and it did make it to our Christmas dinner table.  We'll call this a learn as you go lesson.

Do I think it was financially the way to go?  No - Wow, those turkeys ate a lot!

Will I do it again?  I'm not going to shout NO, but I can say that I don't plan on raising turkeys any time soon.

Well, like I said, he was 26 pounds!  I need to create some leftover meals using turkey for the next couple days.

This post (with more details) was posted on  Click HERE to read it.


  1. Oh my, that's amazing that he weighed 26 pounds! I'm sure your children enjoyed this adventure. Fun times. Pat :)

  2. We raised our own turkeys for years, and some dressed out at almost 50 pounds. They were spring poults we raised and butchered just before thanksgiving. Turkeys DO eat a lot , and they are messy, even if allowed free-range conditions. We have so many predators around here that love to eat turkey I had to keep them in pens. And the pens got very messy very quickly, especially in our wet winters. We still prefer home-raised turkey for Christmas, that is what we ate too, so will probably only raise 2 turkeys a year, unlike the large flock I kept for many years.

    It would be fun to continue this discussion, we decided we're not sold on raising Heritage turkeys. They did not offer thrift or taste worth it for us for the amount of time and money invested. But , they are still tasty ! :)

    There is nothing better than experience to help us make good decisions or better ones in homesteading. I am glad you shared this, thank-you.

  3. Well. It sounds as if he cost more to feed than to eat. :) It's a good experience. At least you know you could take care of yourselves. :)

  4. Your story sounds very similar to mine. I wanted them forever. They were fun to raise. They ate a TON....and ours ended up being 43 pounds dressed out! My husband told me never again! I will just have to settle on chickens!

  5. One time we had a wild turkey and it was so good. It's a good experience and you learned from it.

    Thanks for sharing with us at Simple Saturdays.


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