We gave one twenty-five pound Turkey to our friends who raised the pig for us. We smoked and grilled the eighteen pound bird while it was still fresh - after brining of course. I cut one up into pieces, freezing the breasts separately. I ground up the thighs and the drumsticks - the later being a pain because of all the large tendons. We froze the largest Turkey for Thanksgiving, although maybe I should have ground that one up as I'm not sure it will fit in the oven and I am concerned about trying to get the whole thing cooked evenly. There has been talk of a fire pit/ spit rigged up especially for this bird. We saved the hearts, necks and feet to add to the carcasses for stock.
I enjoy having the Turkeys around. I enjoy their sounds, and watching them strut their stuff. They seem smarter, hardier and better foragers than the Cornish Cross. I'm thinking I'd like to raise more turkeys next year.
Because of how cold it was we did the plucking and gut removal indoors. We've learned from experience that it is challenging to pluck birds fast enough before they cool down too much when the temperatures are in the teens and twenties. D killed the turkeys up the hill, moved them down the snowy trail in a wheel barrow, dunked them in hot water using a metal trash can over a propane heater. Then brought them and we plucked them in a large cooler, before I laid them out for the final touches. After rinsing the dressed carcasses, we piled them in a clean metal trash can in icewater and left them outside over night. Then I brought them in and dried them off, weighed and wrapped them.
I just pulled in the first couple packages of ground turkey from the freezer. Looking forward to turkey avacado burgers tomorrow.