Instead of purchasing a frozen turkey at the grocery store many people are choosing to purchase locally grown birds. Buying locally has many advantages, including:
* Knowing your farm and farmer
* Knowing that the birds were raised and slaughtered in humane conditions
* Having a supremely fresh product to bring to your table
* Knowing the types of feeds and treatments birds received
Due to a limited supply, birds may need to be ordered locally at least a month or more in advance, especially around major holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thinking ahead and doing some research ahead of time will help get you a great and tasty bird. Check out the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership's online local food guide for help finding a farm near you.
For those who are more adventurous, it is possible to raise domestic turkeys at home. While they have many of the same requirements as other kinds of backyard poultry, there are some specific requirements that you should know about before you try to raise them. It takes several months for turkeys to be ready for the table, so be prepared for a long term commitment if you choose to grow your own. Also be sure to do some research into how to process meat turkeys humanely in your area before you decide to bring them home; contact local poultry groups or processing houses to get more information before you begin.
For more information on how to raise turkeys, visit Old Fashioned Families' Caring for Turkeys to get started.