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 (Nov. 29)

GOOD. Water normal stained; 65 degrees; 2.55 feet below pool. Striped bass fishing is good with gulls working active fish around main lake river ledges in 60-70 feet of water. Drift live shad or flukes suspended 30-40 feet down. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are fair on live shad along the bluffs, and the main lake points off the banks. Swimbaits are landing catches off the boulders and on the clay banks. Catfish are good, drifting large cut shad chunks along deep flats off the river channels in 50-60 feet of water. Bigger fish will start to move shallower with colder water temperatures. Crappie are slow on jigs and minnows fishing brush in 10-15 feet of water and around docks. Report by Jacob Orr, Lake Texoma Guaranteed Guide Service. Striped bass are good with daily limits under the birds. Fish midlake schools with slabs, swimbaits and live bait. There is some deadstick action. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors.

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