Dressed or Undressed

Before processing the Thanksgiving turkeys(30+), we went into the field to see if we could get some guesstimate weights.  Some of the Bourbon Reds were to be “pardoned” if they were underweight.  That’s fine, we allow for that as far as pre-selling goes, and they are such lovely birds to have around.

How do you weigh a turkey?  Well, it’s easy.  You go out into their field and pick them up, then step on the scale.  However much more than you weigh is what they weigh.  Dressed.

But it’s not really a science out there and our scale is lousy.

And I can’t really tell you how much the bird will weigh undressed.  As in, plumage, etc. removed.

I know that my terminology is opposite what the processing industry calls it, but practically speaking, with our plumage and barn coats intact, we are dressed.

And there’s no way I was going to weigh them naked.  They would’ve shivered.

Everyone is a little shy to step on the scale



The end result was that we had a broad range of weights – from 35 pounders to 6.5 pounders.  Five birds were pardoned to stay on and put on weight, forage, just hang out with the other poultry around here.

Promise to clean up our act in the next post.  This is meant to be a family friendly blog.  Anyway, now you know how we handle weighing of the turkeys.

5 responses to “Dressed or Undressed

  1. Even though I only have them as pets I’m starting to think maybe I could do what you are doing – not sure. I might get too attached to them!

    • Julie:
      I do get attached to them. We made a commitment to eat our own meat or what others we know have raised and so that means as far as our own livestock crops go, I am attached. If we were a larger farm, it would not be so challenging, I think. But I couldn’t manage a larger farm so it will continue to be this way, that I get attached and contemplate alternatives… But I feel confident about how we raise our livestock that they’ve had a great life. We don’t begrudge them good living from the moment the little poults arrive to the moment they leave us. And I do have a few floating around here that have been “pardoned.” And I haven’t decided on them yet. They may be pets, like yours, but I’m not sure. Yesterday a fox took one of them(at least I think it was a fox), early in the morning, and I know that fox will be back. Last night I penned them all up for safekeeping. If a predator is after them, that might change how long they stay. I’ll do my best to protect them, though. I thought because they were so large they’d be immune to the fox, but no.
      Have a wonderful day after your little brother’s birthday!

  2. Ha – you’ve provided my morning chuckle. We also do the step-on-the-scale-thing … but only after the beasts are dressed (or, using your logical-alternate-terminology, undressed). We don’t take ‘hanging’ weights but this year these might have topped 50 or nearly 60 pounds. It’s all I can do to haul these birds back out of the cauldron after scalding. As a matter of fact, when I was pulling our third of five out of the drink (just a week ago today) I felt one of those alarming pulls right, smack, in the middle of my back. I dropped the thing back down into the depths and adjusted my position before hauling on it again. The bird we brought to Indiana just fit in the cooler and we had to use the neighbor’s oven because the bird wouldn’t squeeze into the stove in our host’s house! We have snow showers here today … do you have snow on the ground? If so … you have my sympathy. D

    • Woke up to snow-covered grounds yesterday, there was even an accident on a nearby backroad because of icy conditions – today it is bare again. It was quite pretty and milder than the day before so I didn’t mind it. But I’m having some transportation issues that mean I would rather not have icy conditions. It is inevitable that we will have winter. Less snow means less work, but if it’s going to be winter, I say bring it on 🙂
      I still can’t get over the weights of your birds. SO very sorry about your back – hope that doesn’t happen again.
      I would love to read a post/see photos/hear the details of the big bird day around your place. Love that big ole Tom saying “Happy Thanksgiving.”
      Happy Tuesday.

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