Norfolk black turkeys

by Ian

For many years I have kept poultry ,chickens, bantams,ducks, geese, quail, partridge and pheasants and for the past three years mainly turkeys in particular norfolk black/bronze turkeys.

It all started after buying half a dozen hens from a friend, I then borrowed a bronze stag from my niece - he was the result of her husbands school project as a teacher - 'Sprout' as he was named by the children (that's the turkeys name not the teachers name!)

Soon 'Sprout' was perfoming as nature intended, and having a small incubator used to hatch a number of different species of poultry it was not long before I was the proud owner of 55 turkey chicks.

Two brooders that I had built from reclamed timber(pallets and packing cases from work)came in handy yet again. Pleased that I had a very good hatch rate -as I had set 60 eggs.

That's all well and good but what to do with 55 turkeys?

The next few months were very busy building ever increasing sized turkey pens.In the end my entire back garden was turned over to the turkeys. Soon every avaliable fence,branch and even the garden seat was covered in turkeys and unfortunately the other thing that turkeys do naturally. (turkey poo)

So now to feed 50 turkeys, buying turkey pellets by the bag is very expensive,so family and friends helped out with adding vegetable peelings and fallen apples - which the turkeys loved!

This is the part of the story that is not to everyones taste but I repayed everyone that had helped feed the tukeys with their scraps by giving them a fresh free range norfolk black/bronze turkey as a Christmas presant. Everyone was so pleased and agreed that the birds had so much more taste than commertial reared shop bought turkeys.

So for the past three years I have repeated the process - but on a much smaller scale. Selecting only the black hens and introducing new stags each year for my breeding stock. This year I hope to have a hatch of mainly norfolk black turkeys and Christmas will be a very busy time for us as we prepare and dress the turkeys for Christmas gifts!

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Free Range tastes better!
by: Linda

Hi Ian
Thanks for your story - I have personally tasted one of your free range turkeys at Christmas and without doubt the taste is so much better than commercially bred turkeys.

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