Turkey ordering begins now! Our Market, Brick Farm Market, has everything you need for the most delicious Thanksgiving dinner. This includes the centerpiece, born and raised here at the farm.
We have been preparing since early spring for the holiday, and to bring you the best tasting, healthiest and mosts sustainably raised heritage turkeys. Our birds are raised on pasture in the fresh air. They eat grubs, bugs and grasses and their foraged diet is supplemented by a non-GMO, feed grown for us locally in Ringoes by Zeng Family Farm. They are never given hormones or antibiotics and live outside with two guard dogs who look out for predators. A quick recap, in pictures, of how we raise our turkeys:
From our brood pen, the eggs are washed and left to sit for a few days at about 55° (and turned every 12 hours by farmer Jon, aka ‘Mother Hen’). Then, they go into the incubator for 25 days, and are turned automatically. After that, they are ready for the hatcher. They sit in the hatcher (no turning) while the poult positions itself for hatching. And the race is on! It never gets old when they start chipping through the shell and new life appears.
Once the turkeys are dry, they go into a holding pen with water, food and a heat lamp. It’s like Key West in there. You will notice that we have feather dusters all around. The poults like to huddle under the dusters like they would huddle under a hen’s feathers.
After a few days, they head to the big barn, where they have a larger pen, with heat lamps and lots of other young turkeys. And they make a ton of noise.
Turkeys are incredibly curious and social birds. This is like a giant meet and greet.
After several weeks during which they get bigger and stronger, they go out into the main barn. The are not yet old enough to be out in the open, but they get used to stretching their legs, roosting, flying and generally living life like a turkey. Finally, in late spring, they are ready to be let out during the day to forage on their own.
It is quite something when they find the succulent grass for the first time.
This is Jon’s favorite time in the pastures – settling among the birds as they talk to each other and bustle through their morning routine. It is one of the simple pleasures of being a farmer.
By late mid-November, the birds are ready to harvest. It is an all-hands-on-deck affair, as all of our turkeys are sold fresh, not frozen.
We take pride in the work we do and the people on the farm who help us do it. Every year we are thankful for our team and for the birds we raise.