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Top Turkeys Go from Small Farm to Thanksgiving Table

My visit to see the turkeys at River Ridge Farms disrupted their latest move from one stretch of pasture to another. Verlinda Waters had the tractor backed up to move the large wooden roost she and her husband had built by hand.  One turkey sat leisurely atop the roost while the other gobblers gathered around a water pan and their keeper was polite enough to chat with me.  These preening, lavish birds were accustomed to moving once or twice a day to a fresh patch of grass.  Waters, and her husband, Dave, have been busy restaking pens for turkeys, broilers and laying hens in rural Meigs County, Tennessee.

River Ridge Farm Turkeys


Verlinda said, "Raising the meat birds on pasture or raising animals on pasture rather than in confinement and big barns, big facilities, is more natural for the animal, it's better for the environment and the end product is healthier.  So we're very cautious about how we raise our animals and what feed they get."  The family farmers choose to feed just certain organic grain to their otherwise pasture-fed poultry, even avoiding soy feeds over concerns about the amounts of estrogen in it.  The green, open air setting is a far cry from the stench of conventional confinement methods.

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Comment by Jodie Westwood on November 29, 2011 at 10:37am

I have 4 gobblers and 6 hens doing fantabulous.  I would like to raise more.  When can I expect to them lay eggs?

Comment by Flour Sack Mama on November 29, 2011 at 3:53pm

Good question.  Here is a link to the farmers at River Ridge Farms.  Since they are the poultry experts that I talked with, you might want to ask them directly.  Mr. Waters has a degree in animal husbandry.

In general, I would think you'd have an easier time raising new babies in the spring.



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