Cottage Farm Turkeys
About The Farm
We rear turkeys that come from old-fashioned breeds. We grow our birds slowly to full maturity and we feed them on a natural, cereal-based diet. We let the birds roam in the fields from dawn until dusk. Importantly we do not use antibiotics or artificial growth promoters.
The turkeys arrive on the farm as day-old chicks from a local hatchery. This is the only transport of their lives! The chicks are housed in specialist “brooding” sheds for the first 5 weeks and kept at 30 degrees. This is because to start with they have no feathers to keep them warm. Once the feathers grow and they start to “harden” the heat is reduced. At around 5 weeks old they are moved into the Pole barns.
Turkeys are naturally inquisitive and they love to explore their surroundings. Once outside the turkeys make the most of the fallen apples in the orchard and they play in the dust baths they create under the old oak tree. We believe that our turkeys taste so good because they enjoy life. Their lives are similar to that of their wild cousins of the North American forests!
At night we bring the birds inside where they are tucked up in the safety of spacious Pole barns, on deep straw beds. We bring them in at night so that they are kept away from the elements and our friend Mr Fox. We make sure that the birds have a clean and constant supply of food and water.
As Christmas approaches, we process the turkeys in our hygiene inspected, on-site, processing facility. Compare this to supermarket turkeys which are loaded onto lorries and transported through the night – sometimes hundreds of miles – to massive factories.
We keep our turkeys calm and free from stress, this contributes to the flavor and tenderness. Something that Cottage Farm Turkeys are renowned for!!!
Your Christmas turkey is then hand plucked the old fashioned way, and game hung. Then we store our birds in a temperature-controlled chiller for ten days to allow the meat mature. After hanging, they are eviscerated, with the giblets packed separately for making the best gravy. Each bird is then trussed and weighed before being wrapped in greaseproof paper and placed in individual boxes with a pop-up timer, cooking instructions and recipe ideas for leftovers!