Talking turkey

Although I have posted images of turkeys before, I couldn’t resist uploading this one, for no reason other than I was fond of it. I have already mentioned that I am reworking a number of images in support of an online gallery presented at; and it happens that this was one I was working on the other day. I have discovered something about image post-processing and that is, the more you do it the easier it seems to get; the difficult thing is knowing when to stop. I hope I have not overstepped the bounds with this one. Truth-be-told I did not shift the colors of this handsome bird at all; what I did do however was to bring down the highlights, increase the clarity by adding contrast to the mid-tones and, most significantly, desaturate the background such that your attention would not be distracted by the foliage there. Although we don’t have turkeys on the farm at the moment, we did receive notice from our local supplier that poults will be available on May 21, June 11, and July 16. When would you purchase your day-olds such that they will be finished and ready for the table on Thanksgiving? First, there are 190 days (27 weeks) between 5/21 and 11/27, 169 days (24 weeks) between 6/11 and 11/27, and 134 days (19 weeks) between 7/16 and 11/27. Second, keep in mind that although we raise our birds on pasture, we supplement feed and the longer we’re feeding the higher our cost. Third, does anyone out there remember the movie The Princess Bride? If so, do you remember what Vizzini (Wallace Shawn) calls Fezzik (André the Giant, André René Roussimoff) toward the beginning of the movie? He calls him a hippopotamic land mass! What’s my point? It is that the University of Illinois Extension Service tells us that the average weight of a holiday turkey is 15 pounds. If you hold your birds too long, not only will feed costs be high but the resulting carcass may not fit in your oven. We’ve known folks who have had to cut their farm-raised birds in half because they wouldn’t fit. We’ve come close on a couple of occasions and Joanna tells me that the largest bird we’ve been able to accommodate weighed something over 40 pounds. And although it has never been the case with our pastured birds, bigger isn’t always better when it comes to tenderness and taste. Ok, so when should I order my poults … in May, June or in July? Perhaps I should tell you that it takes six or seven weeks to finish a broiler on pasture (to 5 pounds, dressed) and nearly three times that for a broad breasted bronze turkey (to approximately 20 pounds, dressed). So, it looks like I should arrange for a July pickup. Now .. how many should I order?


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