Susan Gorst tells her KellyBronze story.
Moorgate Farm, situated on the A5 between Towcester and Stony Stratford, has 17 acres of pasture and a small wooded area. My husband and I have been rearing KellyBronze turkeys as a franchise for 20 years, starting with 150 and increasing year on year. All are reared free range and we pride ourselves in only using traditional farming methods. Unfortunately my husband was diagnosed with Huntingtons Decease 16 years ago so now my son Freddie has taken on the role of farming with me.
How we care for our turkeys
The poults arrive at one day old and are kept warm under a brooder at a temperature of 37 degrees for seven days.
It is our job to take on the role of mother goose; it’s important to make regular inspections daily, making sure all feeding and drinking containers are sanitised and soiled food replaced with fresh. While this is happening, a bond is beginning to form between us and the birds. After the first seven days the temperature is reduced over 21 days to around 15 degrees when the brooders can be removed. From 5 weeks old onward the birds can be put out to free range.
Music is played to the poults from the first day of arrival as this helps to calm and settle them. This is continued through the 24 weeks of rearing. Each day we spend time just sitting with the birds on bales of straw, holding and talking to them to keep the bond between us. We also study the birds to identify how the pecking order is developing as this is a normal growing development within all poultry and animals.
They are reared through the summer and autumn in the most natural environment. They often choose the shade of the oak and ash wood when it gets hot on the pasture. No machinery is used in the processing, we pluck all our birds by hand as we believe this leaves a cleaner finish with less risk of contamination. Once plucked the birds are left to cool overnight, then put into the controlled chiller to hang for 14 days to mature.
A Christmas experience you’ll never forget
From the day the poults arrive on the farm to the day when they leave with the customer, the turkeys have never left their familiar surroundings. This gives me a great satisfaction in my work, all but one of our staff are from local villages - Potterspury, Yardley Gobion, Stony Stratford and Towcester - most have been associated with our family for many years.
We are proud to offer a quality traditional product that we feel passionate about - and to give our customers a personal service and Christmas experience they’ll never forget.