Thursday, October 1, 2009

How to Wash a Turkey Or NOT!


1) Grab turkey in bear hug and waddle over to make-shift wash tub

2) Dodge frantically flapping wings and flailing legs.

3) Carefully lower the freaked out turkey into a nicely prepared bubble bath.

4) Reassure the confused bird with positive sayings like, "It's okay, buddy, it will be over soon." Be sure to use your best turkey voice.

5) Wrap your hand in your toddlers worn out leggings and gently wipe away the grime that has built up over the past 4 months.

6) Once again grasp turkey in your arms and place him in the next wash tub for a gentle rinse cycle.

7) Towel dry sopping wet turkey.

8) Blow dry turkey till nicely fluffed.


Two days before we had to enter our turkeys we were told by more experienced 4-Her's to try to get the weights of our pairs of turkeys as close together as possible and have uniform meat on the breasts. Plus, just to make life more comical, we needed to give our turkeys a bath, blow dry them and then somehow keep them clean until the show on Saturday.

Well, let me just tell you, we should have had a video camera.

Joel went in the pen and wrangled himself a big ole tom. I yanked the gate open and he struggled out with a squirming, kicking bird. He placed it on the scale only to have it freak out and start beating its wings at a furious pace. I thought for sure it would either break its wings or Joel's nose. I wisely curled up into a ball and stuck my nose to the ground! Joel was on his own! There was no way I was going to get bashed in the face by a flailing turkey!

After much flapping and minor loss of feathers, we finally got the turkey settled down and found that it topped out our baby scales (scales we use to weigh our rabbits). We then knew we had some pretty big birds (37.5 lbs., as we soon came to find out). Joel wisely decided he had had enough of weighing birds and just picked out the biggest four.

We held a mini conference right there in the yard and soon came to a unanimous decision that there would be no turkey bathing in our future. We couldn't even get the crazy things weighed. How were we going to get them in the tubs of bath water that we had so lovingly prepared? Who ever heard of washing a turkey anyhow. The very idea is absurd! However, we stilled opted for a foot washing.

I'm not sure how anyone ever bathed a turkey, because even our foot washing was a struggle. However, after the initial struggles we endured with the weighing, Joel decided an old T-shirt placed on their heads to cover their eyes might calm them a bit. The first turkey behaved beautifully. I quickly washed his poopy feet (a job I didn't cherish). And then Joel carted him off to my potting shed.

We repeated this foot washing ceremony three more times. With much grunting, flapping, splashing, flailing, dodging and scrambling. And come to find out the next day nobody else washed their turkeys either. The whole turkey washing concept~ I'm pretty sure its an initiation ceremony for naive 4-Her's!

After an afternoon spent turkey wrangling we all just wanted to do this...



  1. I"ve never heard of such a thing! Is that what you do in your spare time ?? Hehe, I hope your turkey does very well in the showing :)

  2. LOL, that's awesome!

  3. I admire you girl! I could never do something like that, lol.

  4. Blow dry a turkey? Completely cracking up over here!

    Good luck - I hope you take Best in Show!

  5. I belonged to 4-H and was raised and lived on a farm all my l-O-n-G life and NEVER have I heard of anyone givin' a turkey a bubble bath, little lone blow dryin' the pea brained animal. They aren't the brightest color in the box anyway.

    I praise ya'll for having the tenacity for trying. Thanks for giving me a good laugh!!! God bless and good luck showin' your fowl.

  6. What a sight you all must have been!! Especially you curled up in a ball!

    Did you think to weigh yourself first then weigh yourself holding the bird? Maybe you don't have a scale, but this is how we weigh things that seem unweighable. Just a suggestion ;-) I like your picture better, made me smile, no easy feat right now!

  7. This is too funny. My sister was just telling me a tale of their own- with two of their turkeys. I told her to check out your story.;)

    I was wondering if the 4-H *people* offered turkey bathing tutorials... you should ask. Lol!!! Perhaps they REALLY KNOW the secret(s)... and if there any, pass them on - for future referance. That is too funny.

  8. So funny! I would love to see pics of that process!!

  9. How funny! We had turkeys when I was a kid and I was scared to death of them. I would work up the nerve, and then franticaly run past them to get to the chicken coop where my baby chickens were under the heat lamps waiting to be fed. I remember those things running at me and then slamming into the fence. I was just sure one day, one of them was going to get out and attack me! Washing them would have been COMPLETELY out of the question. I commend you for trying!

  10. Oh Jenn! You crack me up! I can just see you and Joel wrestling the turkeys. So funny! I've been thinking about you, but I know you've been super busy this week. Love ya, you turkey wrangler!

  11. Hiya, I love your blog and I hope you do not mind but I have added it to my blogroll on my site.
    I am just rediscovering my Christian Faith, and so am looking for other Christian women's blogs to help me on my way, and your blog is one of them.
    Thank you for taking the time to make such a wonderful blog.
    Take Care
    Love Melanie xxx

  12. Oh my...that's just too funny.

    I think I would have run screaming! :)


Thank you for visiting my blog! I love to read your comments so take a few minutes and jot me a line or two!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...