Broerman Turkey Farm: 1,200 turkeys in a single week
By Penny Smith
The Broerman family has been growing and processing turkeys for our local Thanksgiving dinners since 1991. The state inspected farm is located at 11729 Leedy Road, on the north side of Fredericktown.
The turkey farm is currently operated by Cheyl Broerman and her children, son, Mike, and daughters, Sarah (Julius) Hulbert, and Jenifer (Trenton) Wine. Sadly, the head of the family, Julius Broerman passed away this past January.
Besides hormone, cage, and antibiotic free turkeys the Broerman’s also raise corn and soybeans on their 800 acre farm.
This year, the family and many extra hands will process 1,200 turkeys the week prior to Thanksgiving.
Fresh turkeys can be ordered from Broerman Turkey Farm by calling (419) 886‑2141, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or check them out on Facebook — Broerman Farms. Turkeys are typically picked up on the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
Most of the Broerman turkeys will weigh between 15 and 22 pounds with a few smaller and larger birds available on a first come first served basis.
Unsold turkeys are frozen and a variety of other turkey products are made available year round. They include smoked turkey breasts, ground turkey, summer sausage, marinated turkey, and turkey jerky. Gift baskets are available for Christmas or other occasions.
Turkeys are native to North America and about 5.6 millions tons of turkey meat is produced each year. Of this, more than 60 percent is produced in North America.
Although domesticated over 500 years ago, it was only during the 20th century that turkeys were exploited for their meat. Prior to this, turkeys were selected for their plumage and exhibited in poultry shows.
The female (hen) is smaller than the male (tom or stag), and generally less colorful. They have wingspans of almost 6 feet. The lifespan for a turkey is 10 years. Pure breed turkeys take about 4–5 months to grow to full size. The hen turkey takes 16 weeks to mature completely, and averages 8 to 16 pounds in weight. The tom turkey takes about 19 weeks and weighs anywhere from 16 and 24 pounds. Larger tom turkeys can weigh up to 40 pounds. A breeder tom turkey can generate up to 1,500 poults (chicks) in a hen’s six-month laying cycle.
Commercial turkey breeding hens produce about 45 live poults each year. Turkey eggs take 28 days to hatch.
Turkeys are fed a mixture of corn, wheat and soybeans that are ground up to look like granola. The birds grow quickly so farmers spend a lot of time adjusting feeding rations to match the growth stages of the birds to reach the required market weight. Water is always provided throughout the barns so they may drink freely.
Broilers and hens are used for the whole bird market. Toms and heavy toms are for the further processed market and some are sold as whole birds.
So for the freshest Thanksgiving turkey you have ever had on your dinner table, give the Broerman family a call to reserve your fresh juicy turkey.
Penny Smith is the editor of the Knox County Citizen. She can be reached at (740) 848‑4032 or by e-mail at email@example.com.