By Charlie Loran • 04 October 2020 • 15:52
FARMERS are putting turkeys on rule of 6 diets and killing them early so they aren’t too big for a potential ‘Rule of Six’ Christmas dinner.
Since there is no sign of the rule being lifted in time for Christmas, farmers aren’t expecting to sell the nine million turkeys they normally do each festive season in the UK.
As it is too late to grow naturally smaller birds meaning farmers have been forced to come up with inventive ways to get around the decrease in orders for large turkeys.
Farmers usually hatch their turkeys in the spring and then spend the summer fattening them up for Christmas dinners.
However, Nick Davis, who runs Usk Vale Poultry in south Wales, has come up with an inventive plan to get the most from his birds as he has explained in UK press.
Davis, usually raises a staggering 70,000 turkeys for the festive season but reduced his order to 56,000 in the spring when it wasn’t clear if families would be able to gather for Christmas or not.
He said ‘We have to decide what size people want and you can’t even tell me today what size that might be.
‘We can play around with ratios a bit, and we can slaughter them a week or 10 days earlier, so we can reduce the size to a certain extent.’
And the chief executive of the British Poultry Council, Richard Griffiths, suggested that farmers slaughter the turkeys early and then freeze them until Christmas.
However, his plan won’t work for customers who want fresh, free-range turkeys for their dinners.
It’s claimed that slaughtering a bird early means some of its flavour will be lost, so they are looking to put turkeys on diets and take them to full maturity.
The turkey industry has been seeing a steady decline in demand since 2003 when 22million birds were consumed. Whereas last year just 14million were purchased.Maybe this is the year everyone switches to goose?
The British Poultry Council is encouraging customers to ‘take what’s available, even if it’s a slightly larger bird’ to support farmers.
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Manchester born mummy with a two year old diva (2020), living on the Costa del Sol for just short of a decade.
Former chef and restaurateur, holistic health fanatic and lover of long words.
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