Wild Turkeys are native to huge expanses of North American Forrest. We firmly believe that the only way to produce a good quality Christmas turkey is to ensure that the natural habitat enjoyed by their wild cousins is replicated as much as possible for the birds on our farm in Kent. To that end all of our Turkeys are free, from the age of 8 weeks, to roam the grassy fields and meadows. This is critical to ensuring that our birds lead a natural and happy lifestyle.
Turkeys love to explore their surroundings, playing in dust baths and roosting on straw bales, low branches and fences. At night they take themselves off to bed on the deep straw beds in the barns and field shelters, where they go for warmth and protection, away from the elements and with a constant supply of fresh food and water.
Our Turkeys are slow growing, old fashioned breeds, reared to full maturity. They are fed a natural, cereal based diet, free from antibiotics and growth promoters.
Their feed is a mixture of approximately:
Why Buy From John Howe Turkeys?
Whether you purchase your Christmas Turkey from a farm or a butcher, it is important to ask the following questions:
Is the turkey genuinely free range?
Often turkeys are advertised as free range, even though they have minimal access to outside space.
White turkeys are typically barn reared, but advertised alongside free range bronze birds, which can be misleading.
Has the turkey been plucked by hand (Dry Plucked)?
A significant proportion of birds on the market have been wet plucked. This means the entire bird has been dipped in hot water, which contains high bacteria levels.
Has live transportation been used?
Many large farms rear their birds on more than one Farm which means that even though you are sold the image of a locally produced bird; that is not necessarily the case, as birds have been transported large distances for processing.
Has the turkey been game hung?
The turkey’s flavour, in part, comes from being game hung for at least two weeks.
How long was the Turkey reared for?
The best turkeys are picked from a number of different slow growing breeds reared over at least 6 months. Modern techniques use fast growing turkeys fed on an intensive ration. The aim is to produce the finished turkeys the desired weight in the least possible time.