THEY cared for them since they were chicks but the sad goodbye was always going to be inevitable. However, there was no room for tears from these enterprising Transition Year (TY) students who've turned our festive feast into hard cash.
The 45 students from St Brendan's College in Killarney, Co Kerry, had been raising the chicks at Muckross Traditional Farms since September in preparation for the Christmas market.
The boys ensured they were fed, watered and had their bedding changed every day.
Long before the 25 turkeys left the Muckross farm for slaughter yesterday, their final destinations had been determined. Parents of students at 'The Sem' and other people in the area booked the turkeys well in advance for Christmas dinner.
And all the profits made go back into the TY programme.
All the work in rearing the turkeys was done by the students but Muckross Traditional Farm manager Toddy Doyle and his assistant Declan McCarthy were nearby if their advice was needed.
Mr McCarthy said he was very impressed by the work put in by the students.
Teacher Bridget Lucey said: "The aim of the project is enhance the students' knowledge and appreciation of food production."
Meanwhile, local chef and YouTube sensation Paul Treyvaud sorted out what to do with turkey leftovers with advice from some well-known faces including mentalist Keith Barry and Fianna Fail senator Mark Daly. But the best advice comes from Killarney man 'Sham', who says: "Buy a smaller turkey."