crouchley hall farm

  • more of an art than a science

    my apologies for failing to update the farm blog for SO long. Between various good and bad things over the past few months, it simply hasn’t happened. so, putting all that behind us, off we go again.

    it’s that time of year already and we’re taking orders for our KellyBronze turkeys again. only HOW MANY days to Christmas ? scary but our birds have been out in the field since early August and are doing really well in all this lovely weather. which is what I wanted to talk about.

    if you’re one of our existing customers who are appreciative of our slowly reared, free range birds, I’m sure that you already know that what we do is more of an art than a science. if you are a new reader considering one of our birds for the first time, please let me explain.

    the majority of “commercial” turkeys are reared as quickly as possible to reach the desired market weight. our birds are reared for much longer, until they reach maturity, because that way they achieve the proper flavour and “finish” that makes a KellyBronze Turkey such a special treat. and of course all our birds are truly free range. we pluck our birds when they’re at their best to eat – not as soon as they reach the required weight.

    now an animal that lives in the field, even with a shelter and bedding that it’s free to use whenever it wants, is subject to our wonderful British weather. so some of its food goes into growth and some of it goes into keeping the animal warm. it follows that the better the weather, the more feed is available for growth.

    even though we have a flock of mixed strains that should finish at around the range of various weights that our customers want, a good summer and autumn (like we had last year) can mean that they actually end up heavier than planned. we’re not going to stop that happening, because firstly we can’t and secondly it would mean they wouldn’t be as flavoursome.

    so I just wanted to explain this and ask that, particularly if you would like a smaller bird, you understand that the art of the possible may mean that your bird comes out heavier than expected. we will always do our best to meet our customers’ requirements, we just ask that you give us some wriggle room please.



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