Butterball, the largest turkey processor in the US, says a shortage of birds will lead the company to ship only half as many large fresh, never frozen birds as last year. Many turkeys had trouble gaining weight during the production process for reasons that remain unclear, and many came up short of the 16 pound average size. Orders of frozen whole turkeys will be completely filled, Butterball says.
"We experienced a decline in weight gains on some of our farms causing a limited availability of large, fresh turkeys," a company statement reads. "While we are continuing to evaluate all potential causes, we are working to remedy the issue. We sincerely regret the inconvenience that some of our customers have experienced as a result of this issue."