Pastured Turkey Project at Coverdale Farm

Harvest Market is pleased to support Coverdale Farm’s pastured turkey project. Written by Coverdale’s Farm Manager, Michele Wales, here is a brief introduction and update on their progress:

Coverdale Turkeys

We spent weeks and it took a village to build the most amazing movable houses for the first significant flock of turkeys ever raised at Coverdale Farm Preserve.  Last Thursday was the big day…the day we moved the houses from their construction site to the pasture.  The tension was thick! We were so worried watching to see if the structures would withstand being drug across the gravel of the operations center to the steep incline of the hill and through the dense tussocks of the pasture.  Well, they moved smoothly along the terrain as if we were moving them on glass.  Perfect!  There were cheers and high-fives.  A good moment.

The final touches came in the form of hot-wiring the bottom exterior of each house in an effort to keep out the digging nocturnal predators: fox and coyote.  As you can tell from the photo the turkeys are safe from the red-tail hawks but are not completely safe from the four-legged hunters.  We are hopeful that a single wire, at nose level, will deter them from working the soil around the house.

We will move our turkeys from the brooder barn into one house (as our current population is smaller than the original flock).  We will leave the other house open, with the possibility of experimenting with our new flock of egg-laying chickens.  Perhaps this will prove to be the best housing for keeping all of our poultry safe from predators while keeping them happy and healthy on pasture?

I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to Emily, David, Pat, Kavi, Jonathon, Natalie, and Aryal for taking time to help saw, drill, hang plastic, build walls, etc. to make this idea happen.  Super thanks to Scott Heck for his building expertise and Dan O’Brien for his high tunnel building know-how.

Thanksgiving will be more delicious this year thanks to our dear friends at Harvest Market. Their dedication to local food and support of sustainable farming made this project possible. We are so grateful.

Stay tuned to find out how you can serve a Coverdale Farm Preserve pastured turkey to your loved ones this holiday season.  Until then, come check out the birds in their new digs…we are so proud!

See you on the Farm!

Michele Wales

Coverdale Farm Preserve Manager