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Smaller turkeys fly off shelves for Thanksgiving

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With fewer chairs around the table, Americans are opting to put fewer pounds of turkey on the table this Thanksgiving.

Pandemic-related travel warnings and plans for smaller holiday gatherings have led to surging demand for smaller and split turkeys, according to meat suppliers.

Some Hoosiers are forgoing the traditional centerpiece altogether.

“We’re not even getting a turkey. We got a pot pie from Pots and Pans,” said Amy Combs, an Indianapolis resident. “Normally, it’s turkey, all the fixings [and] all the family.”

She and her husband will celebrate Thanksgiving without guests this year, a departure from the festive gatherings her family typically hosts. 

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Last year, they served a 16-pound turkey to eight people.

Madison Hardebeck, another Indianapolis resident, will probably serve ham instead of turkey this year.

“We’re cutting it down by a lot,” she said of her family’s dinner plans and guest list. “We’re not seeing our extended family. We’re not doing the traditional Thanksgiving meal.”

However, pandemic precautions haven’t stopped other Hoosiers from preparing large, traditional meals; it remains to be seen if they’re planning for large gatherings or weeks of leftovers.

Ron and Sally Thieme, the owners of Hoosier Heritage Farm in Noblesville, are receiving roughly as many orders for large turkeys as they did in previous years.

Their offerings range from 7 to 38 pounds this year and are all expected to sell, Ron said.

Several customers called Sally, requesting to increase the size of their turkey orders, as her husband spoke with News 8.

“We had one of our regular customers just yesterday say, ‘Hey, we want the largest turkey that you have,'” Ron said. “This was a great turkey growing year. If people were looking for smaller turkeys, this is not the year to find smaller turkeys.”

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