THE TURKEY FARMER

Cheshire Life|December 2019

THE TURKEY FARMER
Richard Clarkson, founder of the free-range turkey farm Park Farm Turkeys, tells us about his working day in the run-up to Christmas
Bethan Andrews

07:00 DOING THE ROUNDS

I’m outside on the farm by 7 am and my first job is to let the free-range turkeys out after shutting them in overnight to protect them. Out of our 9500 turkeys, we barn-rear some for a company, but we only sell free-range Christmas bronze turkeys to our customers as this is our passion. There’s more flavour to them and they’re stress-free, allowed to run around outside. We have 15 different breeds, which means we can accommodate all the different sizes for Christmas dinner orders. I’ll then check on the health of the birds. I’ll check over their feathers, how they are walking and how they look in general.

08:00 FEEDING TIME

After nipping in for a quick breakfast (check your livestock before you check yourself!), there’s all the feed hoppers to fill up with feed I buy locally from Masseys at Holmes Chapel. We have a motto - our birds are ‘Cheshire bred and Cheshire fed’. I’ll often be re-bedding at this time too – spreading out the straw for them to lay on – and this normally takes the rest of the morning. Instead of cleaning it out, I layer fresh bedding on top. We like to keep the depth really thick as it keeps them warm, comfy and gives them a nice environment.

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December 2019