Forget your strategy of waiting till the last minute to pick up your fresh turkey from the grocery store, because Butterball, the top producer of Thanksgiving turkeys in the country, has announced a nationwide shortage of its large, fresh birds this year. According to New England grocery chain Big Y, the company cut orders by 50 percent for retailers across the country.
"We experienced a decline in weight gains on some of our farms causing a limited availability of large, fresh turkeys," Butterball said in a statement, according to Quartz. "While we are continuing to evaluate all potential causes, we are working to remedy the issue."
The good news is that the shortage affects only a specific type of turkey: fresh birds weighing 16 pounds or more. So if you're looking to purchase any other type of turkey, or just a smaller one, then you should be fine.
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The bad news is that the average turkey eaten at Thanksgiving weighs -- you guessed it, 16 pounds.
On the upside, the majority of Americans (85 percent) will be looking to buy frozen turkeys, so the fact that fresh ones will be hard to find might not be so bad. Additionally, the shortage seems to be affecting only Butterball, so there's always the option to just go with a different brand.
Or you could just say screw it all and leave the cooking to the pros. After all, we have complied such a handy list of dining out options.