In Kenton County, the Tewes family has been raising poultry since the 1920s. Dan and Darleen Tewes carry on the family tradition today.
In the weeks before Thanksgiving, Kentucky Life paid a visit to the farm. The Tewes farm raises about 3,000 turkeys a year. “They all look real good for Thanksgiving,” said Tewes. “Knock on wood.”
Thanksgiving is make or break time. “I do 90 percent of my business in that one week,” said Tewes.
The birds prefer cooler weather. “This cool weather they tend to eat a lot more than they do in the hot weather,” he said. “That’s when they grow the most, is when they’re eating.”
Tewes does not use growth hormones on the turkeys. They eat a corn and soybean meal mix, and they are also free range. “They do get out and eat grass, bugs, whatever they can find,” Tewes said. “They get out in the field almost every day,” if the weather is good.
He takes pride in the way he treats his flock. “I treat them like I do my kids or your kids,” he said. “It’s miserable out; you don’t want your kids out. Same way here. “
The Teweses handle eggs, but that is not their main business any more. “I dress fresh chickens every week,” he said. “A lot of family help comes in at Thanksgiving time. We probably have anywhere from 15 to 30 people helping us dress the turkeys.”
Tewes recently welcomed his first grandson. “It’ll be a while before he can take over,” he said with a chuckle.
This segment is part of Kentucky Life episode #2104, which originally aired on January 23, 2016. Watch the full episode.