MetroWest residents can now reserve an organic, locally-raised turkey for Thanksgiving with a $30 deposit.
The Natick Community Organic Farm is now accepting the deposits via their website or farmer's market stand for customers to put one of the 180 farm-raised turkeys on hold for their Thanksgiving feasts, according to the farm.
The deposit is just the base cost: fully dressed turkeys range from 16 to 36 pounds, and cost $4.50 per pound. The turkeys are sold whole and frozen. The farm will not take reservations for birds of a specific size or weight, but recommends hens for customers wanting smaller birds, with toms tending to lean toward a larger size.
The farm raises turkeys every year for the holiday, receiving the baby turkeys - called "poults" - as day-old chicks each summer from the breeder, and spending the next five to six months feeding and caring for them.
When the poults first arrive in the summer, farmers keep the baby birds under heating lamps in the barn until they are strong enough to range freely on the organic grass. They are fed twice a day on certified-organic grain, eating about a pound of grain a day as they near adult size.
The gobbling birds are "professionally and humanely slaughtered and processed" in late October or early November, and then sold to all members of the general community who have signed up for birds, farm leaders said.
Turkey pick-up day this year will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Natick Community Organic Farm, 117 Eliot St., Natick, MA 01760.
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The video below shows a particularly curious turkey from this year's batch of birds in Natick.