STERLIN, Conn. (WTNH) — If you’re looking to talk turkey, the Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm in Sterling is the place to be.
Owner Rick Hermonot built a barn this summer and took other precautions to protect his Turkeys from the bird flu, which wiped out millions of Turkeys, mostly in the Midwest.
“So far our birds are happy and healthy,” says Hermonot.
He says the bird flu hasn’t had any affect on his flock or the prices of the Turkeys he raises from chicks.
“Our supplier was able to supply us with the babies that we get from him every year,” said Hermonot. “He’s a farm in Massachusetts so we haven’t had any direct impact from the bird flu.”
The USDA estimates the wholesale cost of frozen turkeys will go up from $1.63 per pound to as much as $2.32 a pound, depending on where you live.
“That’s a substantial increase,” said Hermonot. “70 cents in wholesale, which means the store would have to pass on more than seventy cents in order to capture that margin that they’d be looking to do.”
Hermonot, who charges more for his locally grown birds, has still seen an increase in sales for this Thanksgiving.
“It’s local,” said David Davis of Voluntown, who always buys his holiday birds from the Sterling farm. “They’re farmers. You have to support the farmers.”
Ekonk Hill usually raises 3,000 birds, but that’s up to 3,400 this year.
“Is some of that due to the fact that people are looking for an alternative source I don’t know,” said Hermonot. “But our orders are up.”
The turkeys which roam the fields today will be processed starting next Thursday and then the first ones will go up for sale on Friday.