Everything you need to know about how our turkeys are reared.
THE LIFE OF OUR HIGH
We believe in keeping our turkeys happy. All the birds reared for Waitrose live in ventilated houses that benefit from natural light in the day and restful darkness at night.
Our birds have bales and perches to climb over with plenty of room to move around in their natural environment, which helps them grow strong and build healthier legs. We source all our turkeys from farms in England and Ireland.
Meet the FARMER
“I feel like the Pied Piper sometimes, as our turkeys like to follow me around, curious to know what I’m up to,” says Mike Hammond of Traditional Norfolk Poultry, who rears turkeys for Waitrose Duchy Organic and Free Range Bronze.
“They like to interact with you, which makes them fun to work with, and it’s great to watch them out on the range, exploring the woodland and growing to maturity as healthy birds.
“Our birds have constant access to the outdoors but they know what they like, and if it’s too hot or windy, they stay indoors and play with their toys. They are active creatures and enjoy pulling around the bits of coloured rope we give them.
“Bronze turkeys are naturally slow-growing – it’s the time they take to mature that gives their meat such a good flavour.
“I’ve been farming poultry for more than 30 years now and there’s a lot of satisfaction in knowing that I’ve given our turkeys a good life. And when families sit down to one for their Christmas dinner, I know they are going to enjoy it.”
You can follow our farmers on Instagram – @waitrosefarmers.
Our farmers rear a number of different types of turkeys for Christmas, including...
Waitrose & Partners free range turkeys
These bronze-feathered birds live outdoors from six weeks old onwards. They roam on grass with straw bales, trees and mixed scrub to scratch in, with at least one acre per thousand birds.
The birds return to shelter houses at night with deep straw bedding or shavings for comfort and warmth.
Dry-aged bronze-feathered free range turkeys
A slower-growing breed, these birds are reared using traditional farming methods and renowned for producing succulent, richly flavoured meat.
The birds enjoy a cereal-based diet and roam freely in open pastures.
The turkey is dry-aged for at least seven days to give a richer, fuller taste.
Waitrose Duchy Organic free range bronze-feathered turkeys
A slow-growing, bronze-feathered breed renowned for their full flavour and succulence. These birds are reared on organic farms, eat an organic diet and roam freely in pastures and woodland.
Our animal welfare standards cover all of the birds' life, from their housing to how they are transported. Our organic farms are independently inspected to meet strict turkey welfare requirements.
"Christmas means something unique to each of us, but what we eat is at the heart of it. Here at Waitrose we're pleased to offer a range of festive birds, as well as the traditional turkey for your centrepiece"