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Turkeys Leave Country, Will Spend Holiday Overseas! | Business

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Turkeys Leave Country, Will Spend Holiday Overseas!

    There are 68 more days until Thanksgiving, and you can do your worrying about that turkey during the last 41. The first 27 days, or until October 15th, you can spend being thankful that the turkey you might not get will go to our boys overseas. This about sizes up the situation. Some time ago the government slapped a two-way freeze order on the national turkey crop.  It froze the sale of the birds until it can buy up 15,000,000 to 20,000,000 pounds needed by the armed forces, and it is now freezing the birds for shipment overseas. 

Turkeys remaining after Uncle Sam has his share will be allocated to civilian use.

    While October 1st is the date set tentatively for relaxing the freeze order, Buffalo poultry dealers heard at their national convention in Chicago this week that, to date, the government has bought only 5,000,000 pounds. They figure the quota will not be completed before mid October at the latest. What are the chances of getting a Thanksgiving turkey? One leading Buffalo poultry dealer said yesterday that "we can't even think of that possibility yet." A "sprinkling" of turkeys may come through after October 15th, and by the time Thanksgiving rolls around on November 25, there may be enough to go around, he said. But he made it clear that everything is up in the air now.  One of the poultry dealers who attended the Chicago convention said it was reported there while the nations poultry crop this year, is the largest on record, turkeys are down 10 percent from last year.

    With the government's 1943 holiday turkey order much larger than last year, and on a smaller crop on which to draw, the prospect of enough turkeys to supply the civilian demand is extremely slender, this dealer said.  On the other hand, he pointed out, with the biggest crop of poultry of all time, there will be a choice of substitutes for the Thanksgiving piece de resistance. While poultry is rather scarce right now, it is expected to start coming to market in quantity when the poultrymen bring in their young flocks from the range and begin liquidating old stock to make room. "By early November, and until over the holidays, the poultry supply should increase by leaps and bounds," this dealer added.  The small local turkey grower heads a priority list of consumers reasonably sure of having turkey to eat on Thanksgiving.

  Next in order of reasonable sureness are his consumers of long standing, many of whom have had their Thanksgiving and Christmas orders in since last year.

   Although the turkey grower with flocks of up to a few hundred birds is subject to the freeze order, the government has not called on him so far. Buying in such huge quantity, it has to depend chiefly on the big western turkey ranches. Still another factor in the local small turkey growers favor, is that his birds are not due to be ready until a few days before the holiday. Uncle Sam wants birds that are ready now, so they may be frozen and shipped in time to reach their far-flung destinations before the holidays.

Courier Express Nov. 14, 1943

   Home used to be the only place to get a  real old fashioned Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the trimmings. This year it may be the only place you can't. Speaking of old fashioned Thanksgiving dinners...It's what the soldiers at Fort Niagara will down at their noonday meal on November 25, and is typical of the fare to be served that day at all the service posts in this area.  "We expect to have two shifts of cooks working all night before Thanksgiving"...said Capt. Harry Betts, food service officer at Fort Niagara. "Our Thanksgiving menu calls for 2,300 pounds of turkey." 

The only men at Ft. Niagara not sure of having turkey for Thanksgiving are the 10 percent who will be home on furlough.   Story continues in The Buffalo History Gazette , please click here.

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