UK COVID-19 restrictions could mean a smaller turkey this Christmas

Turkeys are keeping a wary eye on developments this Christmas
Turkeys are keeping a wary eye on developments this Christmas Copyright AFP
By Mark Armstrong with AFP
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Restrictions on larger gatherings are leading UK turkey farmers to think small ahead of Christmas


Feeding time for the turkeys on a farm in Dorset in England, only this year they might not have to gobble down so much.

Thanks to COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings, organic turkey farmer Mark Chilcott is anticipating an increase in demand for smaller birds this Christmas, although he knows it's a gamble.

"If we run out of small sizes then people have to have crowns or joints or half turkeys basically nothing else we can do," explained Mark. "But we expect to sell out easily this year, demand's really quite far as sales go we're ahead of last year."

Many people have predicted the demise of the turkey on festive menus in recent years, but producers say that's not what they've found.

Quality not quantity is also the name of the game at Copas Turkeys in southern England they go for happier, stress-free birds, and argue that that's the way to keep up the tradition.

"You know as well as I do that there's veganism, vegetarianism is becoming much more popular, but what we're very proud to say is we have a couple of customers that are vegetarian that come back to us and eat our product at Christmas," said the farm's sales manager, Verity Copas.

You would think the prospect of less of their flesh being eaten would be welcomed by the birds, but pollsters have found that turkeys still don't vote for Christmas.

Additional sources • AP

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