About Our Turkeys..
We first started keeping turkeys on our Devon farm twelve years ago because we wanted to be sure of a good turkey for our own family Christmas dinner! Since then we have been fortunate to enjoy the encouragement and support of loyal customers and this has persuaded us to develop the enterprise little by little each year.
We now keep our own breeding flock of Norfolk Black turkeys. They are a traditional slow-growing breed that is renowned for quality. We are proud to be one of the very few registered organic producers in the UK to be breeding and hatching our own Christmas turkeys.
We keep 8 stags (male turkeys) and about 30 breeding hens. Each stag keeps company with his own group of hens in a large grassy pen of their own. The first eggs are usually laid in March and (with the help of the incubator) we expect the first turkeys to hatch at the end of April. That is always when the hard work begins and hopefully you will see the result at Christmas!
A small area of the farm is used for growing organic cereals – oats are the most successful crop but we occasionally grow wheat or triticale and the turkeys enjoy all of these as whole grain. To balance things up, we also buy from Humphrey Feeds – a family business specialising in organic poultry feed. However, without a doubt, what the turkeys like best is to go foraging for themselves.. Acorns, stinging nettles, docks, windfall apples and even blackberries would all be among their favourites!
Our turkeys have a pretty good life - they fly, they perch and they love to come out in the mornings. They live free-range in our orchard and
surrounding fields and are painstakingly put to bed each night - unlike chickens, turkeys don’t take themselves indoors to roost!
In December our turkeys don’t have the stress of travelling anywhere else. They are killed and plucked entirely by hand here on our farm.