Demand for Thanksgiving Turkeys up at Vermont farms


It’s a busy week for turkey farms near and far.

“The big push of November,” Dave Adams said. “This is what turkey growers do.”

Dave and Judy Adams have been raising turkeys in Westford for more than 35 years. Each year, a few thousand of their birds become the centerpiece of feasts around the Green Mountain State.

Turkeys arrive at Adams in June where they’re raised through October or even early November. The Adams say demand has been strong this season, especially as news of a national turkey shortage circulated. Bigger growers and stores are dealing with staffing problems and supply chain issues.

“I think it kind of stirred people to be like ‘we better get our turkey early to make sure we have one’ or at least put their order in early,” Mr. Adams said.

Dave says normally orders pour in the week before Thanksgiving, but he says stores started calling with requests by mid-October. The pair is also seeing changes in the size of turkeys people want this year.

“This year, we’re finding that the size of birds that people are ordering is larger,” Mrs. Adams said. “It just feels a little more normal. Last year, very small birds were sold.”

Judy says that aligns with the pandemic, as small gatherings were mandated last year, so there wasn’t a big need for their large, signature bird. Believe it or not, they say the planning has already begun for Thanksgiving 2022.

“We plan thanksgiving a year in advance,” Adams said. “We’re already thinking next year ‘how did the bird perform, do we want to get them in at this time?’ It’s always a juggling act.”

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