Smaller turkeys in high demand for Thanksgiving this year

Local News

ROME, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — We’re less than a week away from Thanksgiving, and Governor Cuomo is asking families to keep their celebrations small. A smaller gathering could also mean a smaller turkey.

Matthew Wallace, owner of Ten Hens Farm in Rome, says his work in the turkey business started when he built a chicken coop in his backyard nearly a decade ago.

“It’s something that I do because I enjoy it,” Wallace said.

More recently, he started raising turkeys, too. At the moment, most of Wallace’s turkeys are already reserved by customers for Thanksgiving day. The demand hasn’t changed this year, but what people are asking for, has.

“Noticing a bigger demand for smaller turkeys. I think as people are having smaller gatherings for Thanksgiving,” Wallace said.

Wallace bought chicks from a hatchery in Pennsylvania back in July and since then, some have grown up to 25 pounds. The smallest are from 10-13 pounds.

Knowing people would want lighter turkeys, Wallace started the growing season later than usual. But, he never lost faith in the Thanksgiving tradition, knowing each of these animals would serve a purpose.

“Well, you have to have one left over. We eat one whole turkey at Thanksgiving,” said Michelle Mone, who bought two turkeys at Wegmans this year.

For those keeping their social circles smaller, as the state has mandated, some grocery stores are suggesting families buy a rotissiere chicken instead. That’s been a hot ticket item for Wallace, too.

“I did notice that there was much a higher demand for those this year because of food shortages and people are just looking for a closer connection with their food,” Wallace said.

Wallace says he does have a handful of turkeys that haven’t been claimed. He expects those to be bought out by customers by this weekend.

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