Heritage Breed Turkeys

We are now taking 2022 turkey orders.  Click on the picture of the turkey (above) to download the order form.  You may email, mail or bring your copy to a market.  Once we have the form and your $75 deposit, your turkey order is confirmed.  You WILL get an email confirming the details of your order by the next Friday after you place the order.   

 

 

Frequently asked Questions:

The form provides several options:

Saturday at the farmer's markets

Monday at the farm

Tuesday in Bryn Mawr

Wednesday at the farm

Please try to choose from these options.  The days the farm is NOT open are days we're running around picking up turkeys from the butcher or we're at markets or other pickups.    

A freshly killed bird is fresh and delicious for up to 10 days from processing if kept very cold.  We will provide EVERYONE with instructions on how to keep your turkey nice and cold and fresh!

 

What about a week before or after?

We would be able to have turkeys butchered the week of October 18th or the week of October 25th, if you're celebrating early.  Otherwise, the pickup options on the form are the next times we will have them.  (Please understand that we use inspected butchers to process meat, and we have minimum bird counts we must take in.  Those weeks in October we're taking in CHICKENS, and they'll let a turkey or two tag along).

 

 

Can I be sure of my poundage?

We will do our best to get within 2 lbs above or below your target weight RANGE.  That means that if your target is 16 - 18 lbs, we should be able to get you a bird within 14 - 20 lbs.  As a practical matter, we usually can keep this range tighter:  1 lb, +/-.  It is VERY difficult for us to predict poundage, because the weather in November can either keep turkeys small or encourage them to gain up to 4 more pounds.  Commercial farms begin processing birds as early as October in order to ensure specific weights, which we do NOT do.  Please be understanding that we aim to please!! 

Please also understand that if you order a bird from us, you are accepting this range.

 

Can I get a smaller bird?

If you don't see a size range listed, we aren't offering it.  Please don't write in a size that isn't there.

 

Can I get a breast or legs?

Absolutely.  We request a $25 deposit for a bone-in turkey breast, and please let us know what size (smallest are around  4 - 6 lbs, largest around 12-14) you'd like to target.  You can email this or use our "Cuts" order form.

 

How do I transport and store my turkey?

Caring for your turkey after pickup: 

No matter when you get your turkey, we highly recommend storing it in a SEPARATE PLACE from your regular, every-day fridge. 

IN ADDITION, we recommend placing your turkey (in it's wrapped state or bag) inside a trash bag filled with ice.  If the ice melts during the day, replace it at least once every 24 hours.  You don't need to go out an buy bags of ice - even 2 gallon-sized bags of ice from your freezer will be enough.  The point of the ice is twofold:  One, it keeps your bird just above freezing and therefore nice and fresh.  Two, it indicates to YOU how cold your storage spot is.  If the ice is melting in less than 18 hours, the spot isn't really cold enough.  I typically put our turkeys inside ice-filled trash bags and then into a small cooler which I put OUTSIDE (assuming it's cold out).  This usually keeps my ice still solid for just under 24 hours, and the melted ice is quite chilly when I pour it out. 

 

What else should I know?

First, your turkey deposit is refundable until November 10th.  Any cancellations after that point will forfeit the deposit.  

Second, you can (everybody does) change sizes up until pickup  as long as we have some capacity available at that size.  Please do so via email so that we have a written way to track the changes:  canterhillfarm@yahoo.com

 

How will I know you got my order? 

We send out confirmation emails by or before November 2nd.  If you're ordering or paying your deposit after that point, we aim to send out confirmations within 72 hours of your completed (ie, deposit paid) order. 

Can I pick up other items at Turkey Pickup?

This answer depends on WHERE you pick up.  Due to a huge volume of people and a small space in Bryn Mawr / Rosement, we limit the distribution to TURKEYS, TURKEY CUTS and TURKEY STOCK (and we'll give out eggs).  We can't provide a full offering of other items or pre-orders or we'll cause a traffic jam on Lancaster Avenue :) 

 

How do I store it / cook it?

FAQs:

  • If I get a turkey the Saturday before Thanksgiving, where will I keep it?
    We know it’s hard to remember when it was cold outside, but those days will return.  In past years, we put our turkey in cooler filled with ice and put the cooler outside.  This typically stays cold without replacing the ice for 4 – 5 days. 

     

  • Should I brine my turkey?
    Sure – but don’t plan on brining for too long – particularly if you purchase a Heritage Bird. Brining makes the meat tender, but pasture raised turkeys are tender, and they have less body fat.One chef brined for 24 hours and found his turkey was cooked.I brine overnight the night before Thanksgiving.

     

  • How should I brine my turkey?
    We’ll give more instructions on this in our cooking directions, but logistically, I use a cooler and put the turkey into a brine of salt water mixed with herbs, lemon and sometimes cranberries.  I put the turkey and the brine into a double trash bag and put this into a cooler with a bit of ice in it to keep it cool.  It’s not fancy, but it works well.

     

  • Is there a difference between a hen and a tom?  
    Yes.  One is a girl and one's a boy.  Did you mean the tenderness?  No.  All of our turkeys being processed are less than a year old.  The concern about the difference in taste is that older Toms can become tough (I’m so tempted to insert a sarcastic comment about Wayne here, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ll resist the urge).  Under 1 year, there is really no difference in tenderness or taste, the key difference is size. 

     

  • Can I get back the giblets? Of course!  They’ll be inside your bird. 
     

  • What happens if I need to change the size and/or the pickup location for my bird?
    We’re happy to make changes, so long as we still have birds of your target size available and space at each pickup location.  We have maximums for each pickup location based on how many coolers we have and can take.  Last year, we had a few people wanting a smaller turkey, so many of our requests for larger birds (and there were A LOT of those) could easily be matched with someone reducing.  We’ll do our very best!!

     

  • How long do I have to place an order?
    You can order until the turkeys are all sold out.  Last year, we had all our turkeys reserved by October 31st, so don’t wait too long.  

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  • Can I get my turkey cut up / spatchcocked?  
    Unfortunately, due to the MASSIVE volume of turkeys our butcher is processing for us and for other farms, he simply cannot handle "custom cut-ups".  Let me clarify.  A custom cut-up is when someone orders a certain pound whole turkey but THEN wants it cut a certain way.  We have a certain number of our turkeys cut up into whole breasts, leg/thigh and wings, so you can purchase turkey cuts, but these cuts aren't attributed to a certain pound bird.  (If you want more detail into the inner workings of this process, email me, and I'll talk your ear off!)  So, you can get cuts, but you can't order a whole bird and then ask for it to be cut up.

 

 

HERITAGE V. CONVENTIONAL

If you're new to Heritage turkeys, you might be wondering how it differs from a Conventional bird.  First, it is NOT GAMEY nor TOUGH.  It is tender, juicy and has a mild flavor (where Conventional birds don't have much flavor).  However, it's body is more proportional, with roughly 2/3 white meat and 1/3 dark meat versus more like 80% breast for a Conventional bird.  It has less body fat and therefore benefits from basting covering with a soaked cheesecloth when cooking.    
HERITAGE:  Our birds are Naragansetts, Spanish Blacks and Bourban Reds, and some crosses as our ladies and gents mingle.  Heritage turkeys have more dark meat and will have a redder color, even when fully cooked.  They grow more slowly, with a typical hen reaching a processed weight of 13 - 18 lbs and toms at 16 - 24 lbs.   We cannot ensure a specific breed of turkey, as all are processed, and then sorted by size and allocated to orders.  Once processed, we have no idea which of the three breeds it was.

 

 

 

HOW ARE THEY RAISED?

All of our birds are raised on pasture and they wander around the farm and into the woods.  We offer them a custom-milled, soy-free (and corn-lite) organic feed.  They are completely chemical free (no antibiotics, hormones or anything) and are humanely processed just before Thanksgiving.