Free to Range

So August has flashed passed, I am now in the midst of sewing name tapes into school uniforms and attempting to get the children to go to bed early, and more importantly wear shoes again! On the 25th of August 2017 our turkeys reached eight weeks of age. This is a big milestone for the birds, it means they are now strong enough to go outside. Our turkeys, much like our children are free to range, or as we like to term it “free-ranging”. But what does this actually mean? This means that our turkeys are free to behave in their natural way, in a big open space. It means they are able to take dust baths, scratch around in the long grass and nettles and enjoy the feeling of the sun on their backs. The big release happened and as always, it’s a massive anti-climax! You imagine the birds are going to flock from the shed, eager to feel the wind in their feathers. The reality is, they make a load of noise as your in their shed. Once the doors are open you stand and look at them, and they stare back at you as if to say…

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It’s Turkey Time!

The time is currently 7:44 am. I’m sat on a train London bound, off to a meeting. I started my day at about 3:45am, overslept and then missed the first train, so I’ve been on the back foot ever since – oops! This is the first time in about eight weeks now that I’ve sat still for more than an hour, and quite honestly it’s killing me. Being on this train also reminds me how lucky I am that my morning commute is a short walk into my rearing sheds, and can be done in pyjamas or when its a little cooler, a onesie. The amount of time it took to become publicly presentable this morning was quite frightening. Nevertheless, I am on a London bound train, I look cleanish and I finally have time to sit and update you about our past few weeks. So Tuesday June 27th was turkey delivery day, 133 tiny chicks were collected from the hatchery. This is a slight decrease in numbers from last year, this is due to the fact that we have had a huge demand for geese and we have increased the amount of geese we are rearing this year. In…

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What’s good for the Goose is good for the Gander

Thursday 25th May 2017 I picked up 60 day old goslings. As mentioned in my first blog I have decided to take my goslings in a month earlier than we have done previously. Following our experiences in the last few years and feedback received, we have decided that they needed a little more meat on the bones! I sit writing this blog a week down the line and I can honestly say I am so glad I made this decision. The goslings themselves are thriving, we took in 60 and I still have 60 a week later. This is significant as when raising any type of poultry from day olds, lots can go wrong. Day olds are notorious for being challenging to raise, and very prone to just dropping dead! Something I experienced last year much to my distress! These are the weaklings and unfortunately there is always a few. We try to mitigate the risk to our chicks by maintaining high standards in our husbandry and stock management. We ensure the temperature is sufficiently warm from the heat lamps, the feed is high quality (Allan Payne Duck and Goose crumbs) and always available as is fresh clean water. We…

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When is it to early to start talking about Christmas?

As a seasonal business, it’s all about Christmas in this house. But when is it really early to start talking about the big day? For me this is never and at Out and About we love Christmas! For my friends and family though, I think I may have become a bit of a Christmas/turkey bore! I always try to switch off from the chaos of Christmas in January but inevitably, the T word does get mentioned every now and then. Here at Out and About Christmas begins in February when I start confirming orders with butchers and restaurants that I supply to. I like to get feedback from the customers and businesses who have brought turkeys and geese the previous year as I am always trying to improve my product. From my days in the corporate world I was always told Feedback is a gift, now I am running a small business, I totally understand what having feedback means. Once we get to March it is time to confirm the bird orders with the hatchery. Family and friends have become very interested with the question, How many are you doing this year? April is holiday time and I take the…

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What came first, the chicken or the turkey!?

If you’re reading this, yey, you found me. Never in a month of Sundays did I think I would end up writing a blog, but here I am. I will need to get my husband to check my spelling and grammar before this goes live as these are not my strong points! Back to the farming, How did I get here then? Well, I moved into our three acre smallholding in 2010 with a vision of doing something constructive with the ground (as a lot of people who buy a small holding do).  Prior to moving to Herefordshire I lived in Essex, in a flat, in a town, I couldn’t have been more of a townie if I tried. Shoving my hand up the backside of a turkey to gut it, was not how I thought I would spend my country days! So first came the chickens….. Mainly laying hens with a few big chickens for the table. Then, in the way many good ideas start, I met a man down the pub who told us all about turkey farming. I liked the idea of a seasonal hobby, so the idea of Out and About poultry was born 2012. Then…

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