Pounds Turkey Farm in Leechburg is certainly feeling the impact of the pandemic when it comes to Thanksgiving.By John Shumway

LEECHBURG, Pa. (KDKA) – The constant gobbling can’t be missed as you approach the barns at Pounds Turkey Farm in Leechburg.

That chorus is getting a little quieter these days says Beverly Pounds.

“We processed 5,500 fresh turkeys and another 1800 frozen turkeys,” she said.

The Pounds say COVID-19 has had an impact.

“Yes, there are those who want to have smaller items for their gathering,” she explained. “Although we’ve taken orders across the wide range of all sizes to sell, yes there definitely is an uptick in wanting a smaller turkey breast or a smaller Turkey.”

Of course, you can’t tell a turkey to stop growing at 15 pounds but Beverly says they’ve been lucky.

“Some of our flocks just happen to hit the right sizes, we have a lot of turkeys under 20 pounds,” she said. “And that’s what people are looking for so it’s so we’re doing very well for us this year.”

Being around Pounds Farm on pickup day can be almost a party atmosphere but that won’t be the case this year.

“Yeah, we’ve established a pick-up schedule based on last name,” Pounds said. “We have added two pick-up days so there’s five days for folks to come versus three. We’re doing a tent. So folks will wait outside where it’s safer and easier to social distance. All of our staff is masked. Throughout the processing as well as throughout our all of our pickup times.”

With the pickup schedule starting on Saturday Beverly says they will have the turkeys colder on those early pickup days.

“All the turkeys are ready on Saturday every year,” she said. “It’s just the folks don’t generally pick them up that early.”

She says they will warm up with normal refrigeration and be ready for cooking on time.

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As for preparing the turkey for Thanksgiving, Beverly Pounds is a traditionalist.

“I just opened roast in a pan,” she said. ‘I just love, just the regular turkey flavor. The natural flavor of Turkey. I think people brine, some people fry, you know, that’s all really just personal preference.”

As for the strangest things people do in cooking turkeys?

“I guess the strangest is people do the upside-down, thinking, that’ll keep the breast moist I’ve never tried that, so I’m not sure,” she said.

Those who have flipped the turkey swear by the moistness of the white meat. The Pounds say juicy white meat, “Really depends on the size of Turkey, you need a little bit of fat under the skin to give it a nice roasted, you know, a nice moist product. So that’s why we do that for the way we feed the turkeys.”

While the chorus may decrescendo after next Thursday the work isn’t done down on the farm.

“We’re sold out of fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving and we will have fresh turkeys at Christmas, and then they will all be gone until the springtime when we start over again.”