Behind The Scenes: Raising Turkeys

It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. As you are thinking about turkey, we thought you might like to see a bit behind the scenes of our turkeys being raised.

Turkeys love to forage. That means they love to peck and eat blades of grass, bugs, seeds and anything else that catches their eye. Turkeys can get around 20% of their diet from things they find on pasture. Having this variety in their diet makes their meat more flavorful, and also much more nutritious.

Before the turkeys are ready to go out on pasture, they are housed inside a building called a “brooder.” This building is kept at about 90 degrees using heat lamps (red colored light in photo above), and propane heaters. The poults are free to scratch and peck in the bedding, and are served finely ground grain and fresh water. Sometimes they even receive raw milk for probiotics.

Chores for the turkeys is done about twice a day. They love to follow the person with the bucket and often eat right from the pail!

Butchering is done using a scalding hot water loosen the feathers from the skin. Then the birds are spun inside a drum with rubber fingers to pluck the feathers from the carcass. Once complete, the birds are eviscerated by hand and chilled in cold water before inspecting for quality control and shrink wrapping.

Watch the video to see how the feather plucker works (chickens being plucked in this case, but works the same for turkeys).

There are many recipes out there for roasting pastured turkey. We will be posting a few as we get closer to Thanksgiving. For now, here’s a recipe for 5-minute bone broth gravy:

Do you have any comments or questions? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by:

Bartlett Farms

Bartlett Farms exists to help you raise the next generation of kids with stronger immune systems and more robust bodies that experience less disease and greater health. Follow us on social media at and


  1. Emmy Tolbert

    Thanks for that excellent blog post!

    • Bartlett Farms

      You’re welcome, Emmy!


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