Anticipating Smaller Thanksgivings, Local Farmers Grew Lower-Weight Turkeys

Covid-19 continues to affect holiday celebrations at home as well as in the restaurant industry.

thanksgiving turkeys
Turkeys at Goffle Road Poultry Farm. Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As Thanksgiving approaches, turkey farms in the Garden State are busy nurturing the centerpieces around which so many families gather. But with Covid-19 still a threat, these seasonal celebrations are likely to have a different look this year. In anticipation, turkey farmers across the state have shifted course.

At Goffle Road Poultry Farm, a family-owned and operated farm opened in 1948 in Wyckoff, owner Joseph Silvestri expects that come Thanksgiving, New Jerseyans will remain Covid-19 cautious, trading traditionally large gatherings for more intimate family meals. To prepare for this, the third-generation owner says, “we’ve downsized the growth of our turkeys. We are growing lower-weight birds this year as opposed to the higher weights typical for larger parties.” 

In addition to their past popularity for large gatherings, higher-weight turkeys are typically big sellers to the restaurant industry. Covid-19 is also expected to affect that market; Silvestri anticipates more people will opt to stay home and cook those smaller birds.

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