Monday, October 29

*preparations under way

Turkey Day is coming swiftly around the corner and with today's weather it seems as if we are closer to mid February instead of first of November.  Both my dh and I have gotten several alerts on our phones today regarding a potential freeze tonight here in NW Florida.  Many of us are experiencing high, steady, breezy winds during this time as well due to the Hurricane Sandy.  Our winter preparations have come a bit sooner than normal, so today we were dutifully outside working in the barn to make tonight's temps more bearable for the livestock.  We normally make sweaters for our goats to wear during cold or freezing temps, but tonight extra hay bedding will have to do. Our chickens get their indoor coop enclosed with heavy canvas cloth tarps draping around to break the piercing winds that so unmercifully whisk through the barn.  The rabbits are more than happy to see the cooler weather, they actually do much better in this cold weather as opposed to the warmer days.  We have tried to make all of our creatures have the comforts of home when possible.  We recently "de-catted" our house, meaning we introduced our last two indoor cats to the grand outdoors.  We have a total of 5 cats, all now "out door" cats!  We have a heat lamp in a dog (cat for us) igloo up on the loft in the barn, hopefully they will be smart enough to run into it for warmth if needed.

Turns out, even cats like to make nests. Who would have thunk it?

A fresh new roll of  hay for winter bedding, were ready!

Speaking of Turkey Day, my dh and I butchered two turkeys a week or more ago.  Nothing different in butchering a turkey, if you have butchered a chicken. Just bigger scale, well - and for Heckle just GIGANTIC scale.  So this is how it went... Our first turkeys were Heckle and Jeckle, two BBB (Broad Breasted Bronze) which were to grow for a few months and then be butchered for the table or freezer.  Jeckle was butchered for Christmas last year and Heckle quickly became my dh's "pet".   The time had come for the friendship to end.  Let me just say, BBB Turkey's should NOT be allowed to grow past 4 months time.  We decided to go ahead and butcher one of our Spanish Black Turkeys (heritage breed) and Heckle (the BBB).   We got everything ready so the whole process would run smoothly as possible.   The Spanish Black was killed, butchered and dressed out at 10 pounds.  He was actually about a month ahead of his prime butchering time, so we are expecting our other turkeys to dress out somewhere between 12 and 15 pounds when we butcher in mid November.  NOW, Heckle on the other hand weighed 50 pounds before he was butchered, after and fully dressed he weighed 40 pounds. Yes, 40 pounds. Can you imagine cooking a 40 pound turkey in your oven for your family for Thanksgiving or any other day?  We have decided to saw him in half so we can have a 20 pound turkey at a time.   Now clearly we kept him way to long but he was only just starting to show signs of not being able to support his own weight. I would post a picture of him all dressed out, but I might lose a few readers (aka Lori, Kathy and others) if I do.. so I will pass.

Maybe you will enjoy this instead...
 (click on the holiday turkey for a great little show)



  1. 40 lbs!!!!! Holy Smokes!! Thats quite a big'en!!

  2. I know, can you believe that!? Just imagine how much space that turkey is taking up in the freezer!

  3. 40 pounds is one big turkey and the cat's nest is cute.

  4. Loved my visit here, Lynnie! It looks as if all is going well there at Erilyn. Your header is absolutely gorgeous!

    1. Thanks Dianna! I hope you are well, and that you had a great Thanksgiving Day! I think of you often, nice to see you here.


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