Country Turkeys

My best friend’s daughter, Shannon Marie, a stay at home mom, received a turkey from her neighbor. The turkey was lonely, and it screamed and cried. So Shannon got him a duck, and they bonded. Shannon is food conscious about what she feeds her family and decided that she wanted to raise turkeys for Thanksgiving. Not only for her family of two children, husband, father-in-law, and mother, but for other people so they can have hormone and antibiotic-free turkey for holiday dinners.

Shannon has not reached the point where she is selling her turkeys, but this Thanksgiving, her family had two big fat turkeys on their table. A year ago, Shannon’s neighbor gave her a few chickens and an incubator. Now, she has about 30 chickens, peking ducks, and turkeys. Her turkeys are double breasted. But, the ducks are nasty and stinky, she says. She thinks it will be awhile before she can sell chicken eggs.

How to Take Care of Birds

Shannon said that this year people are not buying the big 20 lb turkeys because of the pandemic. Local farm-raised turkeys are not the same kind of turkeys you buy in the grocery store. She spends about four hours a day caring for her birds. Even though she has not reached the point to where she can sell her birds and eggs, she encourages people to buy from local farmers if they can. Shannon feeds her birds whole cracked corn and game bird chow, plus in the winter, she beefs them up with poultry maintenance.

The Turkey Butcher Process

Shannon does not get attached to her birds because, “People gotta have meat”. It is not that difficult to process a live turkey, but it can be traumatic. First you cut off its head with a hatchet and then bleed it out for about ten minutes. She and her mother were teary-eyed and couldn’t watch while her neighbor took care of this part, but they soldiered on. Next, Shannon and her mother, Deborah, boiled the turkeys for about ten minutes and then plucked all the feathers. They prepared two turkeys this way. Now the turkeys were ready for the oven.

Shannon’s Recipe

Shannon brined her turkeys for four hours. She rubbed them all over with butter, fresh thyme, and rosemary. Then she stuffed them with oranges, lemons, and apples and put them in the oven. The birds were juicy and yummy good!

Happy Leftovers This Weekend!

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Fishing Report from TPWD (Jun. 19)

GOOD. Water stained; 75 degrees; 3.56 feet above pool. Striper fishing is great on live bait anchoring on humps in 20-30 feet of water and drifting flats in 15-25 feet of water. Topwaters are working early in the backs of creeks and along river channels. Catfish are good on cut shad and prepared baits. Channels are on the rocks and shallow flats in 10-20 feet of water. Blue catfish are on deep humps in 40-50 feet of water. Bass are slow on shallow crankbaits and top waters early along the banks. Look for bass in the shade during the day near docks in 8-15 feet of water. Shad fry are everywhere so downsize baits to catch numbers. Crappie are slow on jigs and minnows near docks and on brush piles using electronics to spot active fish in 10-18 feet of water. Report by Jacob Orr, Guaranteed Guide Service Lake Texoma. Water level continues to be high. Smaller striped bass are surfacing feeding on shad hitting topwaters and swimbaits. Slab bite is starting to turn on producing better quality fish in big schools in deep water. The slab bite will only improve. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors.

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