Local turkeys are normal size thanks to mild weather

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Thanksgiving is next week and many Rhode Islanders already have their minds set on the holiday bird.

One local farmer says this year’s flock of turkeys is average-sized and it can be attributed to the mild fall weather.

Don Baffoni of Baffoni’s Poultry Farm in Johnston said the turkeys’ size and eating habits can be affected by the temperature.

“We find that when they start to feel the frost in that late October early November, it sort of like triggers a natural response for them to put their winter coat on,” Baffoni said.

As of Thursday, November was 4.7 degrees above normal – lessening the turkeys’ need to eat more and put on a heavy winter coat.

However, Baffoni said the lack of scorching heat for a good part of the summer helped make up the difference.

“So they grew good early, so that compensates for them feeling the warm weather and not eating as much in the fall,” he explained.

The end result is that the turkeys are weighing in at average sizes.

“The smallest ones are about 12 pounds, and the largest are about 30 pounds,” Baffoni said.

According to Baffoni, he sells his birds at $3.59 a pound – which is the exact same price as last year. He said fortunately, he was spared by the devastating bird flu that hit the mid-West hard this year.

“But it didn’t impact us – so we didn’t claim that as a hardship and raise the prices for our people,” Baffoni said.

According to Baffoni, his farm is actually sold out for Thanksgiving – but starting Dec. 1, you can put in orders for Christmas.

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