Butchery - Poultry

My 25 Pound Turkey

Big Turkey
Big Turkey

Butchering a 25 Pound Turkey

I’m almost done butchering the 10 Broad Breasted White turkeys I ordered this spring and raised on our homestead. There’s one left to butcher when I get a nice cool day, but the rest are in the freezer or I pressure canned the meat for winter.

The last turkey I processed weighed 25 pounds. That’s dressed weight, not live weight. I had my hands full butchering this one but managed to do it all on my own. The last live turkey might wait until my parents stop on their way back to New York from their trip to Alaska. If the weather is good and it doesn’t get way too big before then. We’ll see.

Do you butcher your own turkeys? What is the largest that you’ve ever processed? Share in the comments!

14 Comments on “My 25 Pound Turkey

  1. Wow Lisa:

    A 25 lb. turkey dressed out! I don’t know if I could manage one that big all by myself? Then I read the comment left by kiwicampbell and thought about what you said about waiting on your last bird until your parents come back through from their way back from Alaska, if it wouldn’t get too big before that…..and I chuckled to myself……that yeah, if you wait until then, you will be the next one telling us what it was like to dress out a 40 pounder!….LOL

    Wow, Alaska! Where in Alaska did your parents go? Did they take one of those Alaska Cruise Liners? Did they go up to “rough it out” and hunt and fish, living off of the land while they are there?

    That’s been my “Dream”…….is going out to: “The Last Frontier” and just be able to cut down logs and put up a cabin and an outhouse and a barn of sorts, without any county government stepping in and forcing you to have to put in, indoor plumbing and electricity, in order to “pass inspection”! But then there is a TV series that came out with people who live outside of Asheville, NC (where I lived for 25 yrs. before moving to the piedmont Charlotte, NC surrounding area 12 yrs. ago), called: “Live Free Or Die” and they have purchased a piece of land and put up a rustic cabin without plumbing, electricity or septic and I wonder how they are able to do that and by-pass the “Building Codes” for NC? Do either you or anyone here know how to do that?

    Thanks for sharing all the tips you do here, I love reading them and all of the other comments that the others share!


    1. Hi Tirtzah,
      Yeah…we’ll see what happens with that last turkey 😉 I’m sure you’ll find out if you keep reading!

      My parents went to visit my sister in Fairbanks. My cousin from Florida also flew up to spend time with them and they had some fun adventures. They are on their way to Seattle now to see my brother. I don’t think that they did any hunting and fishing. My Dad hunts around home, though.

      I don’t know about NC and the building codes. I do know that I was able to find our local zoning ordinances on line and that was how I found out that I can butcher my own birds on my property for our own consumption in our county. So maybe you could search for zoning codes for your county on Google? They can be rather confusing, so you may want to go into the zoning office for clarification.

      You could also search for the live free or die project on Google to see if you come up with anything about their endeavors. Best wishes!

  2. Last year we had a broad breasted boy who was over forty pounds live and dressed out at 38 lb. Now I can’t fit that in any baking pan or oven I have so I parted him into bone in breast (which was still larger than most turkey), two boneless thigh roasts that I stuffed and rolled with cranberry cornbread stuffing, and I smoked the drums. He fed our large family for a lot of meals!

    1. WOW Kiwicampbell:

      A 40 lb. turkey!!! How in the world did you manage catching and carrying that bird even, let alone slaughtering and plucking and dressing it out? Did you have help to carry the bird? Did it take 2 people? What breed of turkey was it? How old was it and what in the world did you feed that boy??? LOL Thanks for sharing that with us!

      Loved the idea you told us about that we could stuff the thigh’s! The cranberry, cornbread stuffing sounds delicious! Are you going to share the recipe? Or is it a homestead family secret?

      Isn’t there a place on this site where we can share and read others recipe’s? How do I get there from here? I do have a great stuffing recipe I could share that some may like to try?

      Well thanks for sharing kiwi, I enjoyed your post!

      1. Hi Tirtzah,
        I don’t know if Kiwi will get your message…it depends on whether they signed up for comments. I don’t really have a forum section to my blog for people to share recipes. I have thought about it, but I don’t know if I have enough time to moderate a forum…life gets so busy!

        The stuffed turkey thighs do sound delish!

  3. With turkeys that big, I think I will call you the “Turkey Whisperer”! And, holy cow, you must have a really big freezer! Thanks for all of your wisdom and down to earth posts. I have learned so much from your blog!

    1. Lol! Thanks so much, Vickie! We actually have 3 freezers and that’s too many. I need to reduce the amount I freeze and do more canning. One of these birds is going to a friend, so that will free up some space. But I think I’d like to get rid of one freezer next year.

      I’m so glad to share what’s going around here 🙂 And thanks for reading!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.