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Turkey Day Dilemma: Thanksgiving turkeys may be in short supply, but local farmers are here to help

Little By Little Farm
Posted at 5:00 AM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 15:28:10-04

BOONE COUNTY — Rain or shine, the owners and workers at “Little By Little Farm,” in Boone County tend to all of the plants, property, and animals every day including llamas, goats, chickens and nowadays, lots and lots of turkeys.

“We’ve been raising turkeys for 13 years now,” co-owner of Little By Little Farm, Stephanie Pinder, said.

Stephanie and Robert Pinder own the 10-acre farm together and they said they order more turkeys every year.

“We’ve already exceeded what we sold last year, by about 40%,” Robert said.

That’s good news for you because the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts a drop in turkey production by 31 million pounds, when comparing this year to last year.

Robert said more people also want smaller turkeys for smaller gatherings, during the pandemic.

“Small turkeys are a fully harder to produce than large turkeys,” Robert said.

Simply put, the demand is up, and supplies are down which means you may be paying more for this year’s Turkey Day dinner.

So, if you find yourself in a dilemma tracking down a turkey in time local farmers said they’re here to help. At Little By Little Farm they’ve doubled the number of turkeys they have, going from 120 last year, to 240 this year.

“Yes, it is a lot of turkeys for us,” Stephanie said.

Stephanie and Robert said local farms don’t have shipping delays to worry about either and you know these turkeys are well taken care of.

“Less carbon footprint, it’s fresher. It’s readily available. It’s delicious and it’s healthy,” Robert said. “They’re eating Swiss chard and pumpkin. So, we feed them all kinds of natural things.”

“This is where food comes from, this is real food,” Stephanie said.

Pampered with organic food and endless attention, these curious turkeys know who to flock to.

The owners say they must remind themselves the turkeys are their business.

“One of them, we named Tom, and then I learned pretty quick, don’t get attached to them,” Robert said.

While it’s no laughing matter … these owners feel gratitude for these turkeys, the community, and a special holiday that keeps Little By Little Farm busy, all year round.

Each year Robert and Stephanie pardon one lucky turkey as a show of gratitude. However, turkey pick-up day is the Friday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving and the owners said they have several still available if you want to order one now.

So, WRTV looked into which turkeys are in the greatest short supply. Butterball officials said frozen turkeys count for most of the turkeys, sold on Thanksgiving. This is why local fresh turkeys are the way to go this year.

To dive deeper into this for you, WRTV found a list of turkey farms in the Hoosier state.

You can see this turkey production graph, production has slightly decreased since 2016.

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