Smaller birds' the word this Thanksgiving, local experts say

Tower Chicken Farm always has a busy Monday before Thanksgiving. This year, shoppers wanted their hands on smaller turkeys for their smaller gatherings.

Inside Milwaukee's Tower Chicken Farm, owner Greg Schmidt carries a tune and a turkey. 

Tower Chicken Farm owner Greg Schmidt

With Thanksgiving days away, it’s the busiest bird buying week of the year. 

“Absolutely, absolutely. Monday of Thanksgiving week,” Schmidt said.

There was a long line Monday morning, as people prepared to purchase poultry. 

“They were lined up from the front door to the building next door,” he said. 

Back inside the shop, workers rushed to fill orders. 

“There goes Susan, carrying another sold bird,” he said.

The CDC is urging families to stay home and stick to smaller gatherings this Thanksgiving, as the coronavirus surges throughout the country. 

Schmidt says that means smaller birds are flying the fastest. 

“I have too many big birds. I have to get rid of them,” he said.

As customers picked up their smaller turkeys, they shared their scaled back plans. 

“This year it's going to be us and my stepfather who's been locked in the house since March too. I just can't let anyone through the door right now,” said Cassandra O’Neil, who had to trim her guest list. 

“If there were any hope of cases going down then I would reconsider at that point,” she said.

A decision so many are struggling with, with a holiday on the horizon.

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“You're going to take an 11 pound or a 20 pound,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt plans to fill whatever demand comes his way, the best he can.

Lines at Tower Chicken

“They're still buying the bigger bird because everybody wants to take some home,” he said.

The CDC says if you're going to celebrate Thanksgiving with someone outside your household you should wear and mask and social distance.

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