Friday, August 31, 2018

Please come and Join us for a guided tour of Lydiard Turkeys HQ.

Come and see our Free range Bronze turkeys and meet our sheep, cattle and pigs.

Sunday 16th September 2018 at 11am

(This is a guided tour so to be able to see all our livestock please arrive for 11am)

Everyone is welcome but please remember we are a working farm so appropriate footwear and control of children is vital (Sorry no Dogs)

We will have our Woodland reared pork and Sausages available to purchase -

Pre-order is recommended as limited numbers, see our online shop

We will also have a BBQ with our own free range pork sausages and Andy Rummings 100% Grass fed beef burgers available to purchase for lunch.

Please bring some cash for purchases.

Please email orders@lydiardturkeys.co.uk to reserve you place as numbers will be limited...

Monday, April 30, 2018

The turkey Poults (Chicks) have been ordered so the planning for Christmas has begun! Unbelievably it’s less than 2 months until they arrive at a day old.  It is quite a tricky job choosing which strains of Bronze turkey to order as we have to guess what size turkey everyone wants as they range from 4 – 12kg oven ready weight! This year we will grow 375 birds, 25 more than last season.  

Last week our Environmental Health Officer visited, I think I may be one of the few people who actually looks forward to the inspection. We were discussing the  improvements and alterations I want to make to our processing area this year to allow us to do more of our own butchery. We’ll start off by making our own sausages and later in the year hope to be able to butcher and sell some of our own veniso...

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Last year by the end of March we had Swallows skimming over the fields refueling on insects after their flight from South Africa, this year I wouldn’t be surprised if they all turned round and headed straight back home! The snow has at least melted now but not before the east wind forced it to the back of all the livestock sheds and through every gap. We still can’t work out how it got through a small hole and then into an electrical box! Thawing water troughs and carrying water is a bit of hassle but we must spare a thought for the northern farmers who were still digging sheep out of snowdrifts after 10 days and had to get deliveries from army helicopters! Even locally the milk tankers were failing to get to farms, in Brinkworth one young farmer had to dump 5000L of organic milk and in Pu...

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

It’s a good job the sheep are better insulated than we are, today has been bitterly cold but this doesn’t deter the sheep and growing lambs from wanting to get outside as soon as they’ve hoovered up their breakfast. The last lambs to be born were a second set of triplets, they are doing well as the ewe is very attentive but its incredible to see the size difference between them and the lambs that are 6 weeks older – they grow so quick!

Over the last few weeks in between sheep jobs I’ve been making and putting up nest boxes to help our amber and red listed birds (the ones that are declining and need our help). These have included a pair of swift boxes, a kestrel box and at the pond an artificial bank with a nest chamber for the kingfisher. This has been a fair bit of work but will be more th...

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Well, the lambs that should have been arriving on boxing day turned up early! Twins were arriving as the last turkey was being collected at 5.30pm on the 23rd of December. All lambs are doing well and they’re now joined by lots more. Today (Jan 10th) saw some pleasant sunshine so all but the youngest lambs escaped the barn and got to experience grass for the first time. It was only for a few hours but it was enough to imagine spring is not too far off.

In between my duties as assistant shepherd (the role mainly consists of carrying hay and straw as well as catching and holding/hanging on to ewes that need a closer look) I’ve had the chance to get stuck into some books that arrived at Christmas. One such book is the Wild Guides ‘Britain’s Birds’ book, this will replace my old faithful “Birdw...

Sunday, December 31, 2017

What a memorable turkey season! Its always going to be a busy time of year but the 2 week delay in the arrival of our new refrigerated room resulted in just 3 days to construct it before it was needed. We just about managed it and as I write this the turkeys are all plucked and game hanging, before butchery in a few days.  It was also a notable season as I’ve not plucked turkeys with the snow coming down before. Luckily all our pluckers managed to get to the farm and 3 days of exceptionally hard days got the job done. Turkey plucking is very hard on the thumbs and as a result yesterday I was unable to peel an orange or pull my socks on!

This has been the first year I have kept a monthly bird log for the farm. Most months I see about 40 species with the peak month being July when 50 were rec...

Thursday, November 30, 2017

 In years gone by, when winters were reliably cold poultry producers could get away plucking their turkeys mid December and hanging them in the barn. Then, a couple of days before Christmas the birds would be drawn and delivered out to the customers. Producers would have to just hope the temperature was cold enough to prevent deterioration, but not so cold that the bird froze solid and became impossible to butcher! For many reasons this is not how we do it these days. We still practice the important artisan tradition of game hanging our turkeys prior to butchery but we have the piece of mind that the fridge gives us control. Game hanging allows the meat to become tenderer and results in a greater depth of flavour. It can only be done if the birds are dry plucked and it requires a VERY big...

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Its hard to believe that the run up to Christmas is well under way!  Im always amazed how organized people are, as soon as the online shop opens in October we have a flurry of customers ordering. We also have to be pretty organized ourselves, with lots to plan well in advance of December to make sure everything runs smoothly. The trouble is that no matter how hard I try the job list never gets any shorter!

We have had the pleasure of showing two tours of Wiltshire WI members around the farm and have another WI tour coming up soon. I love the opportunity to show people the work that goes into looking after the livestock and encouraging the wildlife, with the WI your always guaranteed to get plenty of questions to keep you on your toes.

The NFU recently invited me to do a presentation to a gro...

Saturday, September 30, 2017

There’s definitely been an autumnal feel to the air for the last few mornings and sadly the evenings are beginning to draw in at an ever-increasing pace.  It’s this change in day length brings the ewes into season, something that hasn’t gone un-noticed by Bramble, the ram that’s on loan to us. Bramble has been running with the ewes for the last 5 weeks and if the all is well lambs should be arriving just after Christmas. Bramble has an oily paint called raddle applied to his chest and this allows us to see which ewes have been mated so in theory we know the approximate lambing dates.

   Now that I have finished fencing, the turkeys are enjoying even more paddock space then they had last year. The young fruit trees in the paddock are beginning to bare a small crop, I picked damsons a few day...

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Last December we carefully packed up one of our turkeys and sent it to be blind tasted by the Guild of Fine Foods. So it came as quite a surprise the other day to receive an email informing us we had won a two star Great Taste Award! Over twelve thousand entries were judged with 35% being awarded a one, two or three star rating.  We were thrilled to be one of only five turkey producers to gain a 2 star – the highest award for a turkey this year.  Its fantastic to have a team of experienced judges confirm that you’re doing it right.  Perhaps we should have celebrated with a mulled wine.

And while we’re on the subject of good news – we have just passed our second TB test meaning that we are clear and able to send cattle to market. This is a big relief as it gives us more options and...

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Collection address: Park Farm, Hook Street, Swindon, Wiltshire SN5 3NY

Lydiard Turkeys is a trading name of D W Rumming & Son

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