We have just finished preparing a 15-month-old Norfolk Black stag for our dinner tomorrow.
He had a good life free-ranging around the paddocks and hopefully took the opportunity to enjoy the varied diet. He has a proportionate amount of fat in all the right places, a good meat-to-bone ratio, and certainly looks good in the roasting tin.
It is always a bitter-sweet time despatching a bird for the table, but this particular Norfolk Black had pale legs and too much bronzing, and he would never have been bred from. So, like his forefathers before him he is destined for the table. I do hope those who embarked upon the journey to rear their own turkey for the Christmas table have had the success they wished.
Sadly work commitments denied us the opportunity of previous years when everything on the Christmas table was homegrown here at Dodpen. Maybe next year life will be less hectic.
On another note, it seems so strange looking out from my office window across the turkey pens with not a bird in sight. But in keeping with DEFRA guidance, all our poultry is now under permanent cover until the restrictions are lifted. Let’s hope that is soon.
The project with TCUK, RBST and PCGB has certainly raised the profile regards the plight of traditional heritage turkeys in the UK. So the breeding groups have another busy year ahead that’s for sure, but with no outside access, it isn’t going to be the best start to the season.
Have a great Christmas, will catch up again soon…………