Where Will Your Thanksgiving Turkey Come From?

By Sandra Sylvester | Nov 12, 2012
Source: Maine Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

Knox County — A recent ad in the Courier carried an ad for fresh turkeys and produce from “Fresh off the Farm.” The farmer’s market on Route 1 in Rockport advertises everything you may need for your Thanksgiving holiday, including “fresh turkeys,” locally raised with no antibiotics or Growth Hormones!

The word “fresh” always triggers something in your brain, especially if you are my age. Times spent at the farm over in Bremen and harvesting fresh vegetables and eggs to eat at that day’s dinner, bring back many happy memories.

Many’s the time that Aunt Freda would instruct Uncle Carl to go out and kill a chicken for Sunday’s dinner. They didn’t have turkeys on the farm, but if they did, I doubt that they were concerned with antibiotics or growth hormones. Farmers just fed the birds period and that was it. We are all still here so I guess they did something right.

If you visit the Farmer’s Market on Route 1, I’m sure you’ll get a wonderful fresh turkey to eat on Turkey Day. But there is another possibility for the source of a turkey, especially if you are a hunter.

Maine now has a significant population of wild turkeys. If you want to experience Thanksgiving Day like the Pilgrims did, here’s your chance. I looked up some facts about our wild turkeys at www.maine.gov/ifw/wildlife/special/wild_turkey/index.htm. Go to that site, which includes hunting tips, to find out all about our Maine wild turkey.

What other ways do we have to get our turkey for Thanksgiving? Well, there is always your local supermarket. Butterball is the best of course. In the Sunday paper I found a coupon for Butterball which has a mail-in offer. If you can find this coupon, you can get five $1 coupons good on any Butterball product.

Another Concern about our Maine Birds

I would like to add my concerns to this turkey story with regards to another Maine bird, which we don’t generally eat, the Seagull.

Not long ago a woman was cited by the city because she was feeding the seagulls. She said they were hungry and she was probably right for three reasons.

One is the fact that the fish factories that used to abound in the area and which seagulls were used to as a source of food are gone.

The second is the fact that blueberry farmers have had to shoo the gulls away because they were flying inland to eat the berries because they can’t find food closer to the ocean.

The third reason is the reintroduction of another endangered species to Maine, the bald eagle. I saw a picture of an eagle in the Courier just this past week that was landing in nests in the South End. It was reported that one may have had a gull with him. These eagles, as good as it is to see them around again, are in competition with the gulls for food. The gulls don’t stand a chance up against one of these big birds.

So my question is…are we upsetting the balance of nature by our seemingly preservation projects by reintroducing these birds?

Gulls have even been called “flying rats.” Yes they can make a mess, but what would our coast be without them? Do we need to start a preservation project for them too?

Thanks for listening.


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