FarmGate Hatcheries is offering nine breeds of turkey for Christmas production this year, and has published a guide to choosing the best breed of day-old poult to meet the needs of different producers.
Over the last 30 years FarmGate Hatcheries has considerably widened its traditional turkey gene pool, adding breeds such as the Wrolstad, Roly Poly and Plumpy to its own white, bronze and black feathered lines – developing one of the world’s largest pool of coloured breeds.
“Having so many different breeds may seem complicated and, of course, it is,” said Paul Kelly, managing director of FarmGate Hatcheries, of Danbury, Essex. “But we recognise that our customers produce a spread of weights to meet their own individual requirements. With just one or two poult placements a year, they need a comprehensive selection of strains to build their best order.”
The range available runs from the Tiny with 22-week-old males making 6 kg eviscerated turkeys and females finishing at 3 to 4 kg through to the Broad Breasted Bronze (BBB) bred to achieve large catering weights, with males finishing at 15 to 20 kg and females 10 to 12 kg. The company says the BBB is very easy to manage and is the ideal choice for cut-up products and further processing.
“Our pedigree selections take place only when carcase shape and eating qualities are at their best,” said Kelly. “Behind this, we have the best standards, procedures and measures to maintain excellent biosecurity across our seven UK breeding farms.”
After reducing poult prices in 2015 and then holding them, this year feed prices 12% and wage inflation have led to a 3.8 – 5.1% increase in prices. Poults are available from the week beginning 20 May to mid September.