Kelly Turkeys invests £300,000 in revamping breeding farm

Kelly Turkeys has just completed a £300,000 redevelopment of its Southwoods Farm near Maldon in Essex, one of four pedigree breeding farms across the UK.

Since acquiring the farm there has been a major three-year investment programme to refurbish the 34,000 sq ft (3160 sq m) of housing and construction of a new naturally ventilated pedigree stag shed.

“This will free up space in the existing accommodation for more egg production from hens, and provide dry storage for equipment during the winter months,” said managing director Paul Kelly.  The work includes installing new feeding and drinking systems throughout the site, high security fencing and locks, and additional biosecurity measures.

The unit is run by a team of four people headed by farm manager Mick Chittock who has worked for Kelly Turkeys for more than 20 years.

“We are continuing to invest in our breeding programme with full pedigree replicates at our four sites – two in East Anglia and others in the Midlands and Scotland,” said Paul Kelly. “This will help us to develop our range of breeds to match consumer demand and to provide enhanced security of supply in the event of disease restrictions.”

The additional breeding capacity will enable the group’s FarmGate Hatcheries to meet increasing demand for day-old poults and growers. The hatchery is the major supplier of traditional breeds to producers of Christmas turkeys and has developed an export business to customers in Europe and beyond. Kelly Turkeys reintroduced the bronze turkey to the UK market 30 years ago and is today believed to have the world’s largest range of coloured turkey genetics.

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