Turkey Experiment Conclusions

Unfortunately, I did not come up with drastically differing numbers all in my favor.

However, these two birds are very different.  One thing is for certain, variances in quality are significant even between plants/animals of the same breed.  I strongly advise any who are interested in healthy food, to find out the specific methods used in raising and harvesting.


Raising Methods

Wal-mart's turkey was raised in confinement with thousands of other turkeys (A stress factor as flocks of over 300 are beyond their capability to happily socialize with).  It was solely fed finely ground feed, so that supplying grit (small rocks for grinding food in the gizzard) was unnecessary.  Their turkey never roamed outside from time of hatch to time of harvest.  When harvested, they injected a "solution" that made up close to 10% of the carcass weight, and had a body cavity full of ice.

The Poultry Guy's turkey was raised indoors for the first month to protect it while it was too delicate for the outdoors.  After that, it and its 49 flock members lived outside.  I fed it the same finely ground feed along with whole grains, and it ate multitudes of grasshoppers, crickets, alfalfa leaves, blades of grass, fallen apples, and anything else it could find.

Both birds were the large white production turkeys.


Cooking Method

I simply put these turkeys in the oven at 350 degrees and roasted them.  I did not baste them, brine them, or season them in any way.  I brought them up to the same internal temperature and removed them from the oven.

I waited until they were cool before de-boning and weighing.


Eating Quality

My turkey absolutely dominated when it came to flavor, texture, and moisture.  I had never compared any of my poultry side by side with an average commercial bird, and was not aware of the extreme difference between them until now.  

I found Wal-mart's turkey to be dry and hard to swallow, even in soup where it was surrounded in broth.  Quite unpalatable in comparison to mine.


Post Cooking Weights

My turkey's carcass weight was 15.75 lbs, theirs was 15.63 lbs.

The cooked meat alone came in at 5.5 lbs per bird

My bird had 1.38 lbs of giblets theirs had .75 lbs.

My bird was 43.68% cooked meat and raw giblets, theirs was 39.99%

My turkey's price per pound of cooked meat and raw giblets was $6.30/lb, theirs was $3.20/lb



My turkey is 1.97 times the price of theirs.  This is the result of higher labor costs in raising my turkeys, and less harvesting efficiency.  In our area, high quality meat cannot be found for low prices.  

"You get what you pay for."