Rutland Organics Breeding Turkeys

Rare breed turkeys bred for Christmas

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01780 722009

Rutland Organics Breeding Turkeys

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 (artificial insemination), all the turkeys mate naturally. We are a member of the Organic Poultry Breeders Association.

We separate the breeds to produce some pure bred chicks, but to improve the spread of weights we also cross some of the breeds. About 10% of our hens are of a commercial turkey origin, which we cross with our stags to produce some birds over 9 kg oven-ready.

Turkey Breeding Stock 2021

We will have breeding trios available in May 2021.

Contact us for more information 01780 722009

Turkey Chick/Poults

Available between May and August 2020

Please see Turkey chicks/poults page for details.

Breeds of Turkey

We keep four turkey breeds, Norfolk Black, Cambridge Bronze, Bourbon Red and Narragansett.

Cambridge Bronze Turkey

Cambridge Bronze Turkey

Norfolk Black turkey

Norfolk Black turkey

Bourbon Red turkey

Bourbon Red turkeys

Narragansett turkey stag

Narragansett turkey

Christmas Turkey weights

Over the past seven years, our Christmas turkeys oven ready weight has averaged 13 to 14lbs (6kg). Last Christmas we reared and fattened 100 of our turkeys and they averaged just over 6kg oven-ready. The majority fall between 4kg and 9kg. As our birds are 100% naturally bred, around 10% of stags may exceed 20lbs oven ready weight. These birds were from the first hatch in May and they were slaughtered/plucked on December 1st and 2nd prior to hanging in our coldroom. If you do not have a coldroom you would want to slaughter later in December.

Turkey oven ready weight range is:-

Black/Red/Blue hens 8-11lbs
Bronze hens 10-14lbs
Black/Blue/Red stags 15-19lbs
Bronze stags 17-20+lbs

We feed our turkeys on Turkey Starter Crumbs up to 5 weeks, then Turkey Rearer pellets until 10 weeks old then they have Turkey Finisher from 10 weeks old, in October when the birds are fully grown we introduce whole or rolled oats, starting at 10% and increasing to 50% of their ration and finish entirely on oats for the last 5 weeks. We use Hi-Peak Feeds, a 100% organic feed.

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!

Traditional Turkey conformation and taste

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. More and more people are becoming aware of the superior taste, moist meat, texture and flavour of the old fashioned and rare breed turkeys. Once a customer has tasted a traditional bird they will be very reluctant to return to a commercial bronze.

Turkey rearing FAQs

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?".

Turkey chick rearing guide

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.

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.

Marketing Guidance

We can also provide guidance on marketing your birds and final weight/customer allocation.

The Bourbon Red and Narragansett 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.