If you don’t want to sell eggs for a living, maybe you should consider raising turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner instead. The opportunity may have passed already for this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a lesson from David Cover and prepare for next year.

Ten turkeys enjoyed their last meal in a way any turkey would love — in a spacious pasture under a gray November sky.

The next morning was not so pleasant. No breakfast on the day of slaughter, when 18-year-old entrepreneur David Cover gathered them in crates, hung them upside down from a fruit tree and butchered them one by one.

But this Thanksgiving story goes deeper than turkeys, entrepreneurship and sustainable farming practices. It’s about a family of 10 that teaches hard work through a combination of necessity, intention and prayer.

As he’s grown, he has established some animals as a business venture, though his brothers help him with that, too. He has had his own meat chickens for a few years now, and added turkeys this June.

David keeps his turkeys in a small pasture, moving their shelter every few days to spread out their droppings and wear on the grass. He hopes to rotational graze with fences next year.

Turkeys eat both grass and bugs, but David supplements their diet with wheat, cracked corn, minerals and soybean meal.

Photo by Patricia Drury