We're ten days away from Thanksgiving and the "Turkey Shortage" headlines are starting to pick up. If I recall correctly, this happened last year too.

Here are three different stories: "Turkey supply hits lowest level since 1986", "Turkey production down, wholesale prices up," and my favorite "Could low turkey production levels put your Thanksgiving in jeopardy?"

The last article answers itself:

This year 235 million turkeys are expected to hit store shelves the lowest since 1986. But don't fear, that number doesn't indicate a shortage of turkeys, which can remain in cold storage for a year or longer. Many farmers cut back on their flocks after rising feed and transportation prices.

Don't expect to see a major difference in prices when you go to buy your bird; so far, there have been no reports of major price increases to accommodate the shortage.


Last year the shortage story started at the source, Butterball: "Butterball announced that it will be shipping out half as many large, fresh never-frozen turkeys to retailers this year. The company says many of its birds had trouble gaining weight during the production process."


This isn't the first time that news media has reported on a "seasonal shortage." When the press needs a story, they'll find one or fabricate their own. Who could forget the great Velveeta cheese shortage? And what about the chicken wing shortage of 2013?