Fresh turkey demand high ahead of the holiday

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) — Thanksgiving being only a few weeks away, the demand for fresh turkey is high. However, there are hardly any turkeys around the area.

The Department of Agriculture says that the production of fresh turkeys is expected to go down by 1.4 percent compared to November 2020. It also says that smaller turkeys are in higher demand due to smaller gatherings from the pandemic.

Owner of Wild Bluman Farms Janet Schaufler says that she sold all her 25 turkeys in mid-October. That is the fastest she’s ever sold them, and it’s the first time she’s ever had a waiting list.

“They went fast. I’ve sold them way earlier,” Schaufler said. “They’ve been years, most years when it gets it to November, and I’m still trying to sell them the week before we take them to be dressed. Yea, they’ve been sold for a couple of weeks now.”

The turkeys that she sells range from 16 to 20 pounds, and she all sells half turkeys. Schaufler says she felt relieved and anxious to have her turkeys sell out and form a waiting list. One thing she’s nervous about is predators getting her turkeys in the nighttime.

“I feel relieved that they’re sold,” Schaufler said. “I feel relieved and anxious because since they are free-range, we close them up at night. I always worry about predators.”

Schaufler says that she is not the only local farmer that is experiencing this issue. Some other farmer she’s in contact with says they raised more turkeys this season and are on the verge of being sold out.

“A couple of people have called, mostly the people on my waiting list,” Schaufler said. “They said they couldn’t find a turkey or find a local turkey to get. But again, I think they’re referring to local turkeys”

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