Getting Answers: possible turkey shortage for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just over two weeks away and concerns about a possible turkey shortage this year, Western Mass News is getting answers from local markets to f
Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 2:40 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2022 at 4:59 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - With Thanksgiving just over two weeks away and concerns about a possible turkey shortage this year, Western Mass News is getting answers from local markets to find out what customers can expect.

“I’m a little concerned about the shortage, but I’m also concerned because every time I do a frozen turkey, it never thaws,” said Tara Muhlhausen of Chicopoee.

A turkey shortage has raised concerns across the nation as Thanksgiving approaches and in western Massachusetts, we are getting answers on how local markets are preparing.

“We have tons of different varieties of frozen birds. Where you are most likely going to see the shortages this year is your fresh over 20-pound birds,” said Big Y store director Tricia Hay.

Hay told Western Mass News that because of the bird flu, many turkeys were not able to mature to the age that allows them to reach the 20-pound mark. If you are looking for a bigger bird, you can place an order ahead of time with their in-store butcher. With the rise in prices across the board, Big Y has supplied a coupon to ease the expenses this holiday.

“With everything that is going on right now, with the cost of transportation and bird feed, we are seeing about a 10 percent increase in cost, but with that, we have supplied a $7 off turkey coupon that is available on the My Big Y app to every customer,” Hay explained.

Western Mass News also stopped by Arnold’s Meats in Chicopee to see how their turkey supply is being impacted. Owner Larry Katz is prepared for the holiday by putting their orders in early.

“We more or less guaranteed most sizes, but the larger ones were very much in demand,” Katz noted.

One West Springfield resident told us her turkey planning started months ago.

“We buy them September, October. We don’t wait until the last minute,” said Charlotte Deslaurier of West Springfield.

Again, with prices rising across the board, Katz said that no matter what size you order, you will be paying more.

“They are so much more expensive compared to last year, the year before. I mean 10, 15 years ago, you bought a turkey for five cents a pound and now, they are over $2 a pound,” Katz added.

For those interested in placing an order for a fresh turkey, the last day to place an order at Arnold’s is Wednesday.

Stop and Shop told Western Mass News that they are “well stocked” on turkeys for Thanksgiving and will have pricing similar to slast year on some turkeys.