How Buttonwood Farm manages 2,500 turkeys on 10 acres

Slideshow: Raising turkeys on pasture fills a consumer demand.

Matt Tiefenbrun knows that free-range turkey production is not for everyone. He also admits his style of growing birds will not meet the demand for 68 million turkeys this holiday season. However, it will satisfy a particular consumer palate.

Tiefenbrun, along with his wife Eleanor, operate Buttonwood Farm in central Missouri. There, on 10 acres, the couple raises 2,500 birds for Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays. Roughly, 1,400 will be sold as whole birds, while the others will be harvested and frozen for future sales.

Buttonwood Farm started just seven years ago. Today, it offers free-range turkeys and pasture-raised chicken to consumers. The couple also maintains a commercial cow-calf herd.

Tiefenbrun, who grew up in the metropolitan area of St. Louis, received most of his training by working at the poultry farm at the University of Missouri, Columbia. The rest came from trying out management practices on his farm.

Check out his farm and turkey production practices in the gallery above.

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