A few frequently asked turkey questions
Click on these headings to be taken straight to the answer of the most commonly asked questions:
About the turkeys: why are they different from other turkeys?
What does bronze mean?
Bronze is the breed of turkey which we produce. It is named after the fantastic bronze sheen to its plumage. It is an old traditional breed, and is much slower growing than modern white varieties. It also has an extra layer of fat under the skin and the meat is marbled, and so tastes better, and cooks a little faster. The breed was kept going by enthusiasts and was classed as a rare breed until turkey hero Paul Kelly brought them back from the brink of extinction. Now they are seen as the ultimate Christmas turkey.
Where are your turkeys slaughtered?
All of the turkeys are slaughtered on the farm in our processing area, this means that our turkeys never go through the stresses of transportation which can lead to damaged birds and tough meat. Chris always says if he couldn't have full control in the process he would stop rearing turkeys.
We are trained and licensed in humane slaughter practises and strictly follow the correct procedure, one bird at a time, birds are slaughtered by electric stunning.
Have your turkeys been game hung?
Yes, the turkeys are hung for at least 7 days. This is the process after slaughter and plucking where the turkey is hung in a cool room for the flavour to develop, cheaper turkeys will not be hung at all or for a shorter period. After this it is butchered, put in a box and collected or delivered.
What do you feed your turkeys?
We feed our turkeys a cereal-based feed made from grain, supplemented with windfall apples and some fresh vegetables/horticultural disasters! They also forage in their paddock for invertebrates and vegetation, they love stinging nettles and hogweed! We have recently started including oats grown in Wiltshire into the diet with the aim to eventually source all of our feed as local as possible. The oats are grown by a farmer using techniques known as regenerative farming, his practices minimise chemical and diesel inputs while maximising carbon sequestration.
Does the feed contain soya?
Yes, but only for the first few months of production. Our feed supplier uses ethically sourced and certified soya and are currently working on soya free poultry diets.
Do you feed antibiotics?
No routine antibiotics are used, in fact in the 15 years we have been rearing turkeys we have never used antibiotics. We would of course use them if we needed to. The feed used in the first few months does contain a coccidiostat which is an antimicrobial that reduces the chance of the bird developing coccidiosis. Coccidiosis is a disease that all farmed poultry are very susceptible to. As far as I’m aware coccidiostats are used in all farmed poultry.
Are you organic?
Our turkeys are not organic due to the feed not being certified organic, this would significantly increase the price if we were to become organic. We have found the main interest from our customers is that they are fully traceable and reared in a free-range environment. We run many farm tours and people often assume we are organic, this is because we farm in harmony with nature and the environment and share most of the principles with organic farming – just without the certification.
How do you pluck your turkeys?
Since 2020 we, like many quality turkey producers have started wax plucking our turkeys. The turkey is dipped in hot wax and once cool the wax is stripped off by hand removing the feathers at the same time. This has allowed us to process more birds but with the same staffing levels. Once plucked they are hung in the fridge for a minimum of 7 days.
The majority of supermarket turkeys are wet plucked which gives that 'slimy' appearance a wet plucked turkey can’t be hung as it would go off due to bacteria in the water
Why does my turkey have black feather stubs?
This is the reason the bronze turkey almost became extinct in the 1950's. The white turkey (and chickens) have just as many but because they have a white pigment you cannot see them. They are harmless and any that may be left will shrivel up during cooking. Each of our turkeys gets quality control checked at many stages during processing.
Are the turkeys oven ready?
All of our turkeys are provided beautifully presented in a recyclable cardboard box wrapped in greaseproof paper and fully butchered ready for you to transfer to your roasting tin and pop in the oven and are just as you would find in a supermarket or butchers. Whole turkeys also have the vacuum packed giblets included. Extra giblets also available on collection days from the farm.
I would like my turkey butchered in a different way?
We offer our turkeys as oven ready whole birds (Our recommended turkey), turkey crowns on the bone and boneless breast joints. All of our turkeys are butchered before being allocated to the customer the day before collection so we would be unable to separate out one order.
We do, however offer a cut in half service when collecting from the farm if you are worried about cooking a larger bird or if your guest numbers have changed.
Are your turkeys stuffed?
We do not sell stuffed turkeys and would always recommend cooking your stuffing separately. Stuffing the turkey would increase the needed cooking time which will lead to drying out the bird.
Are your turkeys wrapped in bacon?
We do not offer bacon wrapped turkeys. Quite simply our turkeys do not need the addition of other products: Bacon, butter etc to keep them moist and juicy. Just follow our simple cooking instructions included with your turkey.
I would like a cooked turkey, can you provide this?
We offer Oven ready whole turkeys or crowns ready for you to prepare and cook to your liking. All of the images on this website are serving suggestions only. Full cooking instructions are provided with your turkey to enable you to cook "The perfect Christmas turkey" it's not as scary as you may think!
Why are the supermarkets cheaper?
For a like for like product, i.e. a free-range dry plucked and hung bronze turkey, we are actually cheaper by at least £1.00 per kg.
Ours also come with recipe card and herbs.
When do I need to order by?
We only produce a limited number of turkeys each year and it is first come first served. Orders are taken from 1st October, and we usually sell out beginning of December so we would recommend getting your order in ASAP. We can usually accommodate a slight size change if needed.
What size do I need?
Visit the online shop from the 1st of October and the size of turkey and serving sizes are displayed. The size guide for whole turkeys and turkey crown on the bone does allow a little for leftovers.
We offer whole turkeys in a range of sizes from 4kg (4-6 servings) up to 10kg (22 servings +), turkey crowns from 3kg (6-8 servings) up to 6kg (14-16 servings) and turkey breast joints from 1kg (4 servings)
Whole turkeys are the best value way of buying a Lydiard turkey and we also think they cook better as it contains all the juicy bits!
Our turkeys are presented ready for the oven and come complete with recipe leaflet and herbs to help you get the best from your Lydiard Turkey.
How do I order?
Visit our online shop to browse the range of turkeys that we do, once you have made your choice select and add to bag then go to checkout and complete the order. All details need to be filled in for the order to be processed, your details are entirely safe. The payment is processed by Sage Pay and you will receive an email almost immediately upon placing your order from us (Lydiard Turkeys) which is confirmation of your order which has details of what you have ordered, how much you have paid and details about collection. If you have received this we have received your order fully paid.
Why do you no longer take deposits for turkey orders?
We made the decision in 2018 to only accept payment in full at time of ordering rather than a £20 deposit. This is in line with all other online shopping websites and enables us to keep our prices down (by saving us high bank charges) and also helps us provide a more efficient service at collection.
When can I collect my turkey?
We have two collection days for you to collect from the farm. These are Friday 22nd December and Saturday 23rd December 2023 between 10.00 and 18.00 outside of these times by prior arrangement only. We need Christmas eve off so that Chris can do his present shopping!!
When you place your order online, you will see the options for collection from our farm near Swindon with the full address.
We also offer a 'click and collect' style service at Aquatic Habitat (Next to Blooms garden centre) Shurdington, Gloucester, On Friday 22nd December between 10am and 11am and from our friends at Conygree Farm, Near Cheltenham and Lawn Farm shop near Pewsey. Please see the online shop for full details.
Do you deliver?
I'm afraid we don't offer nationwide delivery. We are great believers in eating local, if you're not local to Swindon use the NFU turkey finder.
In 2023 we have made the decision to no longer offer local delivery. Now that we have our super speedy drive through farm collection over 2 days and a number of collection points, delivery has become no longer viable.
We will also have our pop-up farm shop open for any extra foods and gifts you may need.
I would like to purchase turkeys for my staff as a Christmas gift, do you offer a discount?
Yes, we do offer discount for orders of 5 turkeys or more. Please email to discuss your requirements.
Do you have a farm shop?
Lydiard Turkeys is run from our home on the farm.
We can only accept orders via our online shop, if you need assistance with ordering please email us and we will be happy to help.
We can’t accept orders at the farm as we need to correctly log your details on to our computer system and due to the nature of our business, we aren’t always available.
**Update - From August 2020 we have been running a monthly pop-up farm shop selling our own meat (Beef and lamb) plus foods from other like-minded local farms. Keep an eye on the homepage and our Facebook page for the next dates.
I would like an exact weight, can you supply this?
Due to the nature and seasonal variation of the turkeys, we are unable to fulfil requests for an exact size.
Turkeys are supplied at a minimum weight i.e. order a 4kg you will receive a turkey weighing 4kg+.
Please order a weight you are happy to receive, we cannot fulfil requests for the top end of the weight range, if you know you need more meat, please order the next size up.
I have heard the taste of a female turkey is much better so would like a hen bird, is this possible?
Unlike with some other meats, such as pork which can get what is called boar taint from the male animal. Taste tests have shown that this does not affect turkeys.
However, the majority of our turkeys are hens (females), we only have around 12 stags (males) to produce some of the larger birds.
We would not be able guarantee you would get a hen turkey but if you order one below 6.5kg it will more than likely be female due to size.
Cooking and storage:
My fridge is full of Christmas goodies, where shall I put it?
A common question. Please remember that your turkey is the most important part of your Christmas meal so we always recommend that you eat the cheese and drink the beer and do your best to put it in the fridge as December is not guaranteed to be cold!
If you really can't put it in the fridge put it somewhere cool, like a garage and cover it. Don’t leave it in a heated room. Make sure vermin and pets cant get to it and also make sure it doesn’t freeze!
Will it fit in my oven?
A standard size oven will fit a 9kg turkey. We have even managed to fit a 12kg in our oven which we would describe as standard size (Admittedly it was a tight squeeze!)
How do I cook it?
There are many ways, but we include a fully described roasting method in our recipe card which is supplied with your turkey.
How do I know if the turkey is fully cooked?
This is very important. Like all poultry the meat must be fully cooked before you can eat it. The cooking times provided with the bird by us are a approximate so you must do a test. You can test to see if your turkey is cooked by inserting a skewer in to the inside of the thigh and thick parts of the meat. If there is a trace of pink in the juice, return the turkey to the oven and cook for a little longer, then check again.
The best method is to use a meat thermometer and as soon as it has reached 65 degrees (in the thick meaty parts) it is done please don't over cook it and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.
I wont be eating the turkey until new year will it be ok in the fridge?
All our turkeys are butchered around the 21st December and this is assuming they will be cooked on Christmas day. We would therefore recommend that the turkey is frozen and then thoroughly defrosted for when needed. We do not have the facilities to freeze turkeys on site as we provide all ours fresh.
I need a turkey for Thanksgiving/early December can you supply me with one?
Unfortunately we cannot supply turkeys for thanksgiving/early December as all of our turkeys are processed purely for Christmas. There is a possibility we could supply from the 18th December but please contact us to discuss before ordering.
I would like a pet turkey, can you supply one?
No, we will not supply anyone with a live turkey, they are social animals and need to be kept in a group.
Emails requesting a pet turkey will remain unanswered.
Can I come and visit the turkeys?
Due to the ongoing bird flu virus that is affecting Britain's wild birds we are unfortunately not accepting visitors to see the turkeys this year and are following strict bio security measures to keep our birds safe. To see what the turkeys are up to please follow us on Facebook
Have you got a question that we haven’t answered?
Please email us, we’ll be pleased to answer it.
Please note we no longer have a telephone line as we couldn't justify the cost for the little use it got!