Turkeys at a Co-operative Group farm in Stoughton, Leicstershire, are being reared in a playground equipped with seesaws, swings, a disco ball and a four-acre paddock plus a 100ft poly tunnel for shelter.
According to the retailer, the ‘playground’ is designed to keep the turkeys healthy and active during their stay and part of an experiment in keeping the energetic birds busy.
The 3,000 turkeys at the farm arrived in late summer as nine-week-old chicks and have been selected for The Co-operative’s premium Truly Irresistible range of products for Christmas 2010.
According to the Co-operative, the ‘Reared by us’ free-range bronze turkeys are being fed with the finest mixture of food, including wheat grown on the farm. They have been eating over half a tonne of food a day and have become partial to ears of corn, which children taking part in the farm’s From Farm to Fork educational project have been leaving for them, it reports.
Robin Nurse, farm manager at Stoughton, said: “The turkeys being reared at Stoughton will be absolutely delicious and perfect in time for Christmas Day, but I feel that the least we can do is ensure that they have a really good life whilst they are on our farm and that the living conditions we provide for them are the best around.”
The Co-operative has set aside 1,000 turkeys for members to order on line for home delivery, in advance of the birds arriving in Co-operative food stores. The remaining 2,000 turkeys will go on sale in selected stores in time for Christmas.