I just want to give a big shout out to all our wonderful customers -- you are a delight to work with, and I just know that you'll love our wonderful turkeys.
And, a big shout out to those who helped us this season: Dayville Farm and Feed for their supplies, Snohomish Co-Op that supplied us as well, Christeena and Emily Marzolf of Falling River Meats and Morgan Brewer of Snoqualmie Valley Farmer's Co-op for co-sharing our turkeys with us, and especially Laile Fletcher of Crooked Shed Farm for their wonderful job butchering and packaging our birds for us. All of them are committed to providing good healthy food by using wholesome farming practices.
Now on to the learning experiences of this year:
-- We did a great job raising the little turkey poults this year, with the exception of a brooder light going out... we lost 25 birds that night when they piled up under the other light. It was extremely saddening, and we will be setting up more brooder space and more lighting so it never happens again.
-- We will be setting up more cross-fencing next year, so that there will be smaller pastures but we can move them from place to place easier. This will be less strenuous on the pasture, and also allow us to separate out birds that are combative towards the others. We don't debeak our birds, and so sometimes they get testy with each other. We will then have two or three smaller areas going at once, next year. We work hard to keep our birds happy!
-- Ordering for me was difficult this year. With a $75 deposit to hold a bird, I had to pay back cash for the smaller birds. We'll probably still have a deposit next year, but a smaller one. We are also going to set up a web page for ordering birds, and automate the whole thing to make it easier for both you and us. It'll be easier, too, for us to remind you when to come pick up your birds!
-- We have better communication now with our butcher, and have already reserved the four days before Thanksgiving next year for her to do our birds. She is looking into getting a bigger feather-plucker for turkeys... and even if she doesn't by then, we'll rent one so that all the birds will look perfect for you. She had to skin some this year to get them done for us, but I will see that we have a better solution next year.
-- This year people took several days to get their birds -- next year, we will provide two days only for people to pick them up. We will also be setting up a nice walk-in cooler, so that all the turkeys can remain frost-free. We want to provide a good product, and keep our customers happy!
-- We had a lot of requests for farm-fresh eggs while people were here, and we ran out. Next year, we'll have plenty for you to pick up along with your turkey.
So glad that so many of you were able to meet Jacob, our breeder Royal Palm tom and his three girls! If you have photos, please email them on... we'd love to see them! We'll be in touch with you all... feel free to stop by any time next summer and see the birds as they are growing. Our farm is a little bit of paradise...