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Will the turkey shortage impact Thanksgiving dinner?

Turkey farmers have struggled while demand is up.

ATLANTA — Turkey farmers have struggled this year while demand for a tasty Thanksgiving centerpiece is rising, leading some to wonder how difficult it will be to find the right turkey for the holidays.

At Atlanta’s Buckhead Butcher Shop, owner Connor Boney has had to stay on his toes when it comes to stocking to meet the demand for turkey this year.

“Had to be aggressive about buying,” said Boney. “Turkeys have been tight, so when people have product you have to jump right on it.”

U.S. turkey farmers have lost about 8 million birds to the avian flu since February. It’s had an impact on grocery stores across the country - the scope of the impact could be felt at the dinner table this holiday season. 


Could the turkey shortage impact your Thanksgiving?


U.S. Department of Agriculture

The National Turkey Federation

Connor Boney at Buckhead Butcher Shop


This is true.

Yes, the shortage could impact the supply or price of one's Thanksgiving turkey. It depends on what sort of turkey families are searching for and if they're being particular. Ultimately, there are turkeys - but the price may look different in past years.


According to the U.S.D.A, the number of turkeys headed to the store will be down all the way through the first part of next year.

Beth Breeding of the National Turkey Federation said the avian flu cost the U.S. about 3% of its typical supply.

“We’re confident that if you’re looking for a turkey product you’re going to find one,” said Breeding. “But if you’re looking for something specific, a certain weight or certain style of turkey, we encourage you to shop early.”

Connor Boney said he has plenty of turkeys to go around.

“We even have a little bit of surplus to donate birds,” said Boney.

While prices have increased drastically since last year there are some deep discounts. According to the USDA, the price of a frozen turkey here in the southeast is as much as $2.29 a pound but you can find it for as little as .37 cents a pound.

So, we can verify, the turkey shortage could keep families from finding the exact bird they want but they should be able to find one. Just prepare to pay more than last year.

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