Large turkeys could be hard to find for Thanksgiving

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TAMAQUA, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Most people celebrate Thanksgiving with a big feast.
But due to supply chain shortages, some want to know if there will be enough turkeys to go around.

November is here and those planning to host Thanksgiving may notice a higher grocery bill.

Brock Stein is President of Koch’s Turkey Company in Tamaqua and he says the higher prices are a build-up of costs in the supply chain.

“So anything from palettes to boxes to the gases we use in our industry, really every step of our process is very stressed and is very expensive, but labor is also a huge concern. Freight, everything,” Stein said.

Koch’s turkey farm is a fourth-generation, family-owned turkey farm that’s been around since 1939.

The turkey farm started a humane program nearly 12 years ago, being the first certified humane farm with about 1.2 million turkeys raised annually.

The farm feeds their turkeys an all-natural vegetarian diet.

“I think we take a lot of pride in the products we produce because our family name is on it and I think the family pride and ownership is hard to replicate at a larger scale,” said Stein.

The turkey company is busy, year-round producing and distributing all things turkey and Stein says their capacity doubles this time of the year.

“So the holiday really is just on top of all that business. So we’re still making all those things that people eat and enjoy every day. On top, we do the holiday business which is the traditional holiday whole turkeys,” Stein said.

Despite the shortages, Stein says he doesn’t expect shoppers to struggle finding a turkey, but they may need to be flexible on its weight due to availability.

The American Farm Bureau Federation says the traditional Thanksgiving meal will cost more this year than last.

They say the average cost of preparing the dinner was $47 in 2020 and it’s expected to cost five percent more this year.

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