The Baker sisters of Thankfully Gobbled have worked to provide fresh turkeys for area dinner tables this Thanksgiving.
Josie, 12, and Lily, 7, are the daughters of Matthew and Jackie Baker, Barnard. Thankfully Gobbled was started in 2019 when Josie decided she wanted a way of raising funds. She became involved in the Maryville Public Library’s Children’s Business Fair.
From last year’s 40 turkeys to this year’s 140 turkeys, Josie and Lily have worked to expand the business.
The turkeys are home-raised, free range, natural with no added ingredients and raised with love. The turkeys are broad-breasted white turkeys and weigh between 14 and 22 pounds. The birds are processed at a USDA inspected facility and total cost is $3.50 per pound. The bird may be picked up between November 17 and 19.
A $25 deposit is required when the order is placed. To order, call 816.536.0067, visit bit.ly/thankfullygobbled, or stop by Baker Chiropractic, 1010 South Main Street, Maryville. The Bakers are expecting to have turkeys available for pickup until November 23 but recommend calling ahead.
The turkeys can be picked up chilled if it is going to be used right away. However, the Bakers have frozen turkeys available for pickup. Jackie Baker said by freezing the turkey, the meat was more tender.
Josie has raised turkeys since she was little. The family had raised approximately a dozen turkeys a year for their own consummation. When she wanted to earn money, her mom suggested she take over the turkey raising and expand it.
Josie talked about how she expanded the business and lessons she had learned between the first and second year.
“In the beginning it takes a lot of work,” she said. “They need to stay warm. Vitamins and electrolytes are added into the water to keep them going.”
The birds are fed a corn-based ration. The heat lamps are left on the poults until all of the pin feathers come in. This year the poults were purchased three weeks earlier to give time for the birds to be larger for the Thanksgiving meal.
If it’s raining and cold the turkeys are kept inside the hutch. This year’s crop is taller and heavier because of the additional three weeks.
Josie and her family increased the size of the hutch and the pen for the turkeys during the COVID-19 shutdowns in March and April. The Bakers also expanded their operation by starting JM Baker Farms which offers local farm-raised chicken, pork and beef to area individuals. The Bakers own 107 acres. For more information, visit jmbakerfarms.com.
Josie, a Horace Mann Laboratory School sixth grader, is saving the money she earns. She and Lily also show cattle and the money earned from the turkeys helps to support their 4-H projects.
“A lot of the people from last year have reordered again,” Josie said.