Day old bronze turkey chicks know as poults arrive on the farm in July and are kept in small groups under heat lamps that are gradually turned down until they are 4 weeks old.
At 4 weeks of age they come off the heat as they have developed feathers to keep themselves warm and are given the whole shed to run around and mingle with the rest of their friends.
Then at 6 weeks old, the field is opened up to them so they can venture out when they are brave enough! They enjoy soaking up the sun, eating grass and a good dust bath in the loose soil.
It is at this stage that fresh herbs are introduced into their diet in custom built hay racks in the field. The herbs are a mixture of parsley, chives, dill, coriander, thyme, fennel, tarragon and marjoram to name just a few, which they love, but their all-time favourite is basil! The only herb they don’t eat is sage! Such fussy eaters!!!
By November the turkeys are eating over a tonne of fresh herbs each week.
Like our chickens, feeding our turkeys fresh herbs enhances the natural flavour of the meat giving it a far greater depth and an extra dimension. For a meat which has gained the unfair reputation for being a flavourless, dry meat, it also remains wonderfully moist when cooked.
Pecking through the herbs keeps the birds occupied resulting in a happy and extremely healthy bird. As well as this the herbs give additional nutrients to the turkey’s diet on top of the cereal based, additive free feed from a local mill.
From farm to fork
To minimize stress, our turkeys are slaughtered on-site . They are then dry plucked and waxed to give the finest finish.
Like a game bird the turkeys are hung for at least 10 days ‘long legged’ at 2 – 4oC to allow the meat to tenderise and take on even more flavour.
After hanging, they are eviscerated, the giblets are saved to make the best gravy and the birds are trussed and weighed ready for dispatch.
Each of our birds are individually boxed and sent out with a pack of fresh herbs and a recipe for the ‘perfect Christmas stuffing’ in which the herbs are used.
If you’d like one of our special herb-fed turkeys, pop into the shop and order one or give us a call on 0161 881 8353.