Butterball Announces Fresh Turkey Shortage

Plan ahead: Butterball has announced a shortage of its large fresh turkeys.

Just in time for the biggest turkey-eating day of the year, Butterball has announced a bird shortage. Last week, Butterball informed supermarkets across the country of a shortage of its fresh turkeys that weigh in at 16 or more pounds. The company is cutting all orders by 50 percent to meet the demand as best it can.

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"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 to ABC News. "We sincerely regret the inconvenience that some of our customers have experienced as a result of this issue."

In other words, the company's turkeys aren't growing as fast as they have in the past, so Butterball has an excess of under-16-pound birds.

Butterball.com estimates that a 16-pound turkey can feed a group of eight "big eater" adults and eight children. The shortage applies only to the Butterball brand, and only its fresh turkeys, so there are plenty of other options (buying frozen or other brands) for the Thanksgiving table this year.