Where to Find a Farm-Raised Turkey for the Holidays
Add a farm that raised your turkey to the list of folks you may be thankful for this year.
But you need to act fast: By ordering early, you can snag a pasture-raised turkey. At farms with a longstanding tradition of raising and selling turkeys for the holidays, birds are reserved well before Thanksgiving.
At White Oak Pastures, the 6,000 turkeys it is raising can fly and roam unconfined on the Georgia farm. The farm raises and slaughters the whole turkeys (Broad Breasted Bronze, Auburn and Black turkey breeds) onsite.
“For the holidays, everybody wants that iconic centerpiece, whole turkey in the middle of the table that the head of the household carves,” says Jenni Harris, marketing manager of White Oak, which her family owns. “We strive really hard and go to extra lengths to make sure that centerpiece of the table was raised with the utmost care and respect.”
Farms tout that their turkeys are raised in a setting with no antibiotics, pesticides, no herbicides and no additives during processing.
Location may be the biggest factor for sourcing turkeys, since most farms only have pickups onsite or through a local market. Prices range depending on the size, with some farms offering small, medium and large varieties or selling by the pound, and some offering organic turkeys.
Also, seek out farms that have taken the extra step of being certified or affiliated with groups that set animal welfare and environmental standards for farms.
White Oak Pastures is one of the most successful farms in a five-step animal welfare rating program run by the Global Animal Partnership. A total of 165 turkey farms have participated in the program, and some of those farms offer pre-ordered turkeys.
Two other non-profit groups – Certified Humane and Animal Welfare Approved – list online the farm, producers and retailers who have met their standards.
Here are 12 farms where you can pre-order turkeys for the holidays:
White Oak Pastures: Located in Bluffton, Ga. Reserve online for shipment.
Ayrshire Farm: Located in Middleburg, Va. Order online for pickup.
Dautobi Acres: Located in Celeste, Texas. Order online for pickup.
Windy N Ranch: Located in Ellensburg, Wash. Order online for pickup.
Patient Wait Farm: Located in Piedmont, S.C. Reserve online for pickup.
Bowman & Landes: Located in New Carlisle, Ohio. Order online for pickup.
Stone Gardens Farm: Located in Shelton, Conn. Order online for pickup.
Larry Schultz Organic Farm: Located in Owatonna, Minn. Order online for pickup.
Reber Rock Farm: Located in Essex, N.Y. Order online for pickup.
Leaping Waters Farm: Located in Alleghany Springs, Va. Order online.
Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm: Located in Moosup, Conn. Order online for pickup.
Hundred Happy Acres: Located in Jonesville, Ky. Sold out for 2014 but taking orders for 2015.