Pastured Raised Turkeys in Illinois

Why you should consider our pasture raised turkeys:

Pasture-raised turkeys are a type of poultry that are raised in an environment that closely mimics their natural habitat and behaviors. Unlike conventionally raised turkeys, which are typically confined to indoor spaces or overcrowded factory farms, pasture-raised turkeys have ample access to outdoor pasture areas where they can freely roam and graze on grass, insects, seeds, and other natural food sources.

The key characteristic of pasture-raised turkeys is that they spend a significant portion of their lives outdoors, engaging in activities that are instinctive to them. This includes exploring their surroundings, dust bathing, socializing with other turkeys, and foraging for food. The outdoor environment provides them with fresh air, sunlight, and the opportunity to exercise, promoting their overall health and well-being.

Our Illinois Pasture-raised turkeys are raised on our local family farm that prioritizes animal welfare and sustainable farming practices. They are given plenty of space to move around, which allows them to develop strong muscles and avoid the stress and health issues associated with overcrowding. This natural lifestyle also reduces the need for antibiotic use and other interventions commonly required in conventional turkey farming. We raise our turkeys without the use of any antibiotics, hormones, steroids, or growth promotants.

The diet of our pasture-raised turkeys consists of a locally sourced mix of feed, formulated specifically for our flock. These feed rations are supplemented with ample spaces filled with grass and the various plants and insects they find while grazing on the pasture. This diverse diet contributes to the flavor and nutritional quality of their meat. Did you know that turkeys can provide up to 35% of their nutritional needs by simply being allowed access to adequate pasture? The resulting meat is often considered to be more flavorful, tender, and rich in nutrients compared to conventionally raised turkeys.

Overall, pasture-raised turkeys offer a more ethical and sustainable alternative to conventionally raised turkeys. They provide a higher quality of life for the birds, promote environmental stewardship through responsible farming practices, and offer consumers the opportunity to enjoy meat that is flavorful, nutritious, and raised with respect for animal welfare.

Pastured Eggs in Illinois

Pastured Turkey, All-Natural, Locally Raised in Illinois

Is a Pastured Turkey the same as an Organic Turkey?

No, a turkey raised in a pasture and an organic turkey are not the same. Despite both options offering certain benefits, they differ in terms of the farming methods employed.

A pasture-raised turkey comes from birds that have access to open fields where they can roam freely and forage for their natural food. These turkeys spend a substantial amount of time outdoors, enjoying a diet that includes grass, insects, and other natural sources of nutrition. The emphasis is on providing the turkeys with a humane environment that allows them to display their natural behaviors. Their diet is not solely limited to organic feed, but it also includes the diverse forage they find in the pasture.

In contrast, organic turkeys are raised according to specific organic farming standards. These standards restrict the use of synthetic pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in both the turkey’s feed and the farming practices. The turkeys are typically housed in enclosed spaces and may have access to outdoor areas, but the size and quality of the outdoor space can vary.

Pastured Turkey (11 pounds) - Cairncrest Farm

It’s essential to recognize that while organic turkey farming guarantees certain standards concerning feed and farming practices, it doesn’t necessarily ensure that the turkeys have extensive access to open pasture or the opportunity to forage for their food. Organic farming primarily focuses on feed quality and avoiding certain chemicals, rather than providing turkeys with a specific lifestyle and environment.

Both pasture-raised and organic turkeys have their advantages, and the choice ultimately depends on your priorities as a consumer. If you prioritize turkeys having access to open pasture, foraging opportunities, and natural behaviors, then pasture-raised turkeys would be the preferred choice. However, if you prioritize turkeys produced according to specific organic standards, with a focus on organic feed free from certain synthetic substances, then organic turkeys would be the better option.

It’s crucial to carefully read labels and understand the farming practices behind the turkeys you purchase. Some farmers may follow both pasture-raised and organic practices, allowing you to find turkeys that meet both criteria. Additionally, local farmers who adopt sustainable and humane practices may not have official organic certifications but can still provide high-quality turkeys. Taking the time to research and support responsible and transparent turkey producers can help ensure you make an informed decision that aligns with your values and preferences.

Read here more info on Organic vs. Pastured Eggs


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