An Aberdeenshire turkey farmer is producing the slowest grown turkeys in Britain in a bid to improve the flavour of his high quality birds by Christmas.
Craig Michie of Barra Bronzes has constantly sought new ways to enhance his poultry and knows the longer they are in his care at Lochend of Barra the better.
“That is exactly why we allow them to forage for fruit, vegetation and insects around our farm,” explains Craig. “It is why we mix our own feed, using grains grown on the farm. It is why we brought in two alpacas as natural security guards last year to ensure that our birds feel safe to range further.
“In the summer they are allowed to range outdoors in the sunlight from 6am to 10pm. A premium product gets a premium upbringing.”
This year, he ordered his baby turkeys from the hatchery to arrive in mid-May so his finished product is as far away from commercially produced alternatives as possible.
The baby turkeys supplied by Hockenhull Turkeys will be the first chicks hatched for 2016 Christmas production. Martin Shea of Hockenhull Turkeys commented: “We have been fortunate enough to work with Craig for the past four years and watched his business grow. He constantly strives to produce outstanding turkeys which are enjoyed by his customers throughout Scotland.”
He will showcase some of his young brood at renowned Scottish food and drink show Taste of Grampian on Saturday, June 4th. Families and children will have a chance to engage with the chicks in one of the Thainstone showrings and Craig is looking forward to the experience.
He added: “There is no better place to find good, locally sourced food and drink in one place than Taste of Grampian. We’re looking forward to getting the youngsters involved in that farm to fork experience.
“I know my own daughter is fascinated by the turkeys and wants to share that with others, while discussing the importance of smaller scale farming, natural production methods and the way we care for our birds. Ultimately a happy bird means a better end product.”