For most families, Thanksgiving preparations begin a few days before the big feast but one Treasure Valley family takes on the task of raising Thanksgiving turkeys, starting preparations for the holiday season in February.
Cabalo's Orchard and Gardens in Kuna has developed a reputation over the last decade of raising some of the freshest and healthiest turkeys available in the valley.
Cathy Cabalo says they raise a few hundred turkeys a year at three separate farms, solely for Thanksgiving feasts.
"We start taking orders for turkeys as early as April or May!" Cabalo said. "The people who have had our turkeys year after year know to order early!"
The Cabalos care for the birds from day one, picking up the chicks the day they hatch at Dunlap Hatchery in Caldwell. From there they head to Vogel Farms to mature in a brooding room, before a majority of the birds land at the Cabalo's Kuna property to grow into adulthood.
Cathy takes the job seriously, seeing the birds are well cared for, well fed and grow to their fullest potential. Some birds top the scale at 40 pounds, while others close out the season below 15.
Cathy says "what your turkey eats, you eat," which was reason enough for the family to stick the birds on an organic non-GMO diet from their partners at Vogel farms.
"At different ages of their lives they get different blends, they get higher protein or lower protein," Cathy said. "Eating clean is by far more important than eating cheap."
From egg to freezer and their whole life in between, the birds never leave the Treasure Valley. So for the Cabalos, it just makes sense for the birds to finish their time on earth feeding thankful Idahoans this Thanksgiving.