Smaller birds for a smaller Thanksgiving, says local farmer
Keeping social circles tight will mean more intimate gatherings
But a tighter circle might at least come with tighter waistlines.
Sylvain Bertrand, owner of a farm in Val-des-Monts, Que., says that not only did he choose to raise fewer turkeys this year, but the individual birds are smaller than normal.
"We know that it's going to be less profitable than usual," the Outaouais farmer told CBC Radio's In Town And Out Saturday.
Bertrand's farm, Ferme aux Saveurs des Monts, has raised turkeys for approximately 20 years.
While they intentionally chose to reduce the size of this year's flock when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there was also a squeeze at the hatchery in April and May — which meant a delay in receiving eggs, Bertrand said.
Given it takes approximately six months to hatch and fully raise a turkey, that means his birds will be a more appropriate size for any Thanksgiving dinners next weekend.
"When you have a turkey of 20 pounds, you need about 30 people around the table to be able to eat that," he said.
"So now, since we're going to have about 11 [or] 12 weeks of growth ... we will [have turkeys that are] about 10 to 12 pounds."
Typically raises 600 birds for Thanksgiving
The farm would typically raise 600 turkeys for Thanksgiving, and double that for Christmas.
Not only has Bertrand's farm cut those numbers back, but it's also only raising female birds, which are generally considered meatier than the males.
He believes the smaller, plumper birds will be ample for this year's festivities.
"In farming, we have to have to adapt all the time," Bertrand said. "Whether it's COVID, it's temperature, it's markets —you have to think about some [way] to reduce the risk."