Butterball Cutting Shipments Of Fresh Big Turkeys, Local Farms Hope To Fill Gap

LIVONIA (WWJ) – Butterball, the largest supplier of turkeys in the United States, says if you want a big bird this Thanksgiving, you may be out of luck.

Butterball has announced that they’ll be shipping about half of their usual number of fresh, large turkeys this holiday.

“We experienced a decline in weight gains on some of our farms causing a limited availability of large, fresh turkeys,” Butterball said in a statement. “While we are continuing to evaluate all potential causes, we are working to remedy the issue. We sincerely regret the inconvenience that some of our customers have experienced as a result of this issue.”

Skinny turkeys from the world’s largest Thanksgiving seller? The cause appears to be a mystery, but locally, Christine Roperti, owner of Roperti’s Turkey Farm in Livonia, said she has plenty of large ones — and it’s not too late to place your order.

“We stop taking orders around … Saturday or Sunday,” said Roperti.

“I have 4,000 turkeys that I sell in four days,” Roperti said. “I don’t have a shortage of large ones … my largest are like 27, 28 and 29 pounds and those are hen turkeys, meaning girls.”

“Once you get used to these you just can’t go back to the other ones,” she says. “That’s all I can say, they are very moist, juicy and tasty. Because I’m a small farmer I can just pamper them.”

Christine said her turkeys start at 18 pounds. Butterball says if you want one that size — you may have to settle for a frozen bird.


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