Heads up, you might have trouble finding small turkeys this year.
It might be too early to start thinking about Thanksgiving, but the poultry industry is already gearing up for the big day. Turkey farmers and meat distributors have been warning grocery stores they may not have enough small fresh turkeys to fill orders. Last year, the coronavirus forced families to have smaller gatherings, raising the demand for small turkeys and turkey breasts. With coronavirus rates rising across the country, it looks like we will have a repeat of last year.
The entire supply chain has been impacted by the coronavirus and poultry plants have been particularly hard. Sick workers have decreased productivity and a shortage of truck drivers has made it difficult to get poultry to grocery stores and restaurants. Shortages of chicken wings have forced restaurants to raise prices or completely pull them from the menu. Grocery stores have also had problems keeping chicken breasts on the shelves.
The farmers and distributors aren’t saying it will be impossible to get a turkey for Thanksgiving, but say it may be harder to get fresh turkeys under 16 pounds.
If you’re planning on having a small Thanksgiving dinner, there are some things you can do to secure a small turkey.
Try and order a turkey through your grocery store, meat store, or local farm. If you can't find a fresh one, shop early and pick up a frozen bird. Stores start stocking up on frozen turkeys up to three weeks ahead, and a frozen turkey will be good long past Thanksgiving day. Just remember to put the turkey in the refrigerator ahead of time to defrost, allowing 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds.
If all else fails and you have to buy a big turkey, find some recipes that include leftover turkey meat.
How will you be celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Comment below.