Size matters? Turkeys expected to be smaller this Thanksgiving - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Size matters? Turkeys expected to be smaller this Thanksgiving

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POLK COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

It's the seventh year Walter Bates with Hoe Hop Valley Farms has been in business breeding turkeys.

"We move them to free pasture; they eat more and more of those things, and less grains, which translates to a little less weight, but a lot better taste, and a much better nutrient density," states Bates.

Because his turkeys foraged more this year, they're a bit smaller, averaging 12 pounds.

Last year the drought meant more grains and less movement from the turkeys. In 2016 they were heavier, but also had more fat.

Avid customers have been returning over the years.

"I bought one last week, I've already cooked and frozen it to have some deli meat, and deli turkey meat in January," says Janet Tilford.

Janet Tilford says she ordered hers well in advance. We asked Walter how many turkeys he has compared to last year.

Bates adds, "We've got about the same, we're a small family farm, my wife and children and I raise the turkeys, and we've raised about 50 turkeys this year."

The difference this year: they've sold out!

In previous years, they've always had a few left over by Thanksgiving.

Bates says if you wish to get turkeys next year call and place an order well in advance prior to the holiday.

Hoe Hop Valley Farms is one of the only two range free turkey farms in the Channel 3 viewing area, located at 127 Vance Bates Drive in Benton, Tennessee.

Have a weather-related story? Feel free to email Meteorologist Brittany Beggs.

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