Will You Be Missing the Main Ingredient for a Successful Thanksgiving?
Odds are good that if you're okay with defrosting a big turkey in your fridge for days and days, you won't have any issues bringing one to your Thanksgiving feast.
On the other hand, if you prefer your Thanksgiving turkey fresh and/or small, your grocery store and you may find yourself scrambling to find one come November.
Turkey producers and distributors are pointing to a number of circumstances that have led to the problem. In fact, one of the country's largest turkey suppliers says these shortages could not only affect your Thanksgiving dinner but perhaps, your Christmas one too.
Like just about every other business in the U.S., the turkey industry has had to deal with labor shortages and keeping their current labor force safe from the COVID-19 virus. On top of this, rising prices have added to their headaches.
One producer (according to the New York Post) got down to basics saying that the most expensive thing about raising turkeys is feeding them and because of rising corn costs, fewer turkeys have been hatched.
That's not to say there won't be turkeys available at all, but the most popular size, which believe it or not is 14 pounds, and fresh turkeys may be hard to come by.
Large frozen turkeys will likely be plentiful for some of the same reasons the smaller ones will not. Labor shortages meant that turkeys had more time to grow between hatching and production. So, you may be able to find larger fresh turkeys too.
It might simply come down to regional shortages, as some grocery chains are turning to smaller producers who control everything from growing their own corn for feed to producing their turkeys, to bringing them to market.
The key to your small turkey success may be looking early and often.