Rare breed turkeys bred for Christmas
We are the largest Soil Association accredited breeder of fully organic traditional turkeys. (Licence number G5618)
The turkeys normally start laying eggs in April. We do not use AI, all the turkeys mate naturally.
We separate the breeds to produce some pure bred chicks, but to improve the spread of weights we also cross some of the breeds.
Our turkey breeding season is now finished for 2013, we may have trios for sale in 2014.
We keep several turkey breeds, mainly Norfolk Black, Cambridge Bronze and Narragansett, and we also have a limited number of Slate Blues and Bourbon Reds.
Cambridge Bronze Turkey
Norfolk Black turkey
Bourbon Red turkeys
We have added a small number of Buff and Lavender Blue breeding turkeys.
Lavendar Blue turkeys
Slate blue turkey
Over the past seven years, our Christmas turkeys oven ready weight has averaged 13 to 14lbs (6kg). We supply our Christmas customers from a mixture of the above breeds (roughly 50:50 black:bronze with a small number of the other breeds). This gives us a good weight range. As our birds are 100% naturally bred, only around 10% of bronze stags may exceed 20lbs oven ready weight.
Turkey oven ready weight range is:-
Our cross breeding this year gave us some larger birds, the biggest was 11.6kg oven ready. Others reported weights of 4.5 -12.5 kg from birds hatched on 8th May. Finishing on whole organic oats for the last few weeks has several advantages. They are cheaper than finisher pellets (even when bought in), the turkeys develop a layer of fat under the skin and they like them!
Whilst traditional breeds do not have the "double-breasted" conformation of modern commercial birds, they do produce meat with superior texture and flavour, particularly when hung. Once a customer has tasted a traditional bird they will be very reluctant to return to a commercial bronze.
Please see FAQ page for answers to such questions as "How long does a turkey take to rear for Christmas?" and "When should I buy turkey eggs to hatch for Christmas?".
We offer a guide to rearing turkeys from day olds based on our experiences - available free on request to producers purchasing our day-old turkey chicks.
Our turkey rearing guide detailing simple guidelines for rearing turkeys is available to anyone at a cost of £5 inc postage. Please call us to order 01780 722009.
If you have not reared turkeys before, (they are the sheep equivalent of the poultry world - bent on suicide) our guide gives you advice on housing, bedding and management of turkey chicks during the first few weeks of life. Follow a few basic rules and your turkeys will thrive, get it wrong and the results could be devastating.
We can also provide guidance on marketing your birds and final weight/customer allocation.
The Bourbon Red and Slate Blue birds are particularly attractive and as well as producing excellent quality meat, can be a useful advertising and marketing aid for those who have birds on view to the public.
One producer took 200 of our birds to try out and several hundred non-organic commercial bronze birds. Their feedback was very interesting.