Two words you don’t want to hear this time of year: turkey shortage.
The nation’s leading producer of Thanksgiving turkeys, Butterball, says it is unable to deliver full orders of large — more than 16 pounds — fresh turkeys to retailers. “There may be limited availability on some larger sizes of fresh turkeys,” Butterball informed the stores, whose orders for the big, fresh fowl have been cut by 50 percent.
Before all-out turkey panic sets in, you shouldn’t worry about having to go without (you know, like the family in “Christmas Story” whose turkey was ravaged by the neighbors’ dogs). There are no reports of shortages of frozen turkeys, and Butterball isn’t the nation’s only supplier.
But check this out: The problem is that Butterball’s turkeys just didn’t get as fat as normal. “We experienced a decline in weight gains on some of our farms,” the company said.
Did the turkeys catch an episode of “The Biggest Loser” and decide to cut back? Did somebody pass the word to the turkeys what was in store for them, and they got depressed and stopped eating? We need a turkey probe — no, not the kind you use in cooking — to be launched right away.