Turkey Farmers Summer Holidays

What do turkey farmers get up to in those summer months?  This is such a busy time of year for a turkey farmer.  Our turkeys are hatched in May and require so much care for the first six weeks of their lives.  A turkey will not survive in the ambient temperature in Scotland for the first six weeks of its life.  We have to insulate our sheds and keep the sheds warm so that our turkeys can thrive.  Once they are six weeks old they have enough feathers to keep themselves warm and they can then go outside to their meadow on our farm.

I really love the moment when the turkeys go outside for the first time.  They have required so much care for the first few weeks, it is hugely satisfying to see them take their first steps into the wild and display their natural instincts.  I could literally watch them for hours dustbathing and picking away at their game cover.

Parallel to looking after our turkeys, I also have to head off to summer festivals to try and get orders for our Xmas turkeys!  As a turkey farmer you think about Christmas everyday of your life.  Fortunately, I don’t hear the song ‘I wish it could be Xmas Everyday’.

I really enjoy these summer festivals as I get the opportunity to explain to people why a Barra Bronze is so special.   We serve up Barra Bronze burgers and pulled turkey in ciabatta rolls to grab peoples’ attention and then I get the opportunity to talk turkey!

These festivals really tire you out but there is nothing more satisfying than having a sack full of orders at the end of the day.

To be honest, I could really do with a summer holiday……..but harvest is just around the corner!


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Craig Michie

Based at Lochend of Barra, Inverurie, Craig Michie left a job as a town planner in 2009 and travelled around South America where he met his Columbian wife Maria. The couple returned to Scotland and the century-old family farm to create Barra Bronzes which was named winner in the ‘Judge’s Choice category, runner-up for ‘Best New Retail Product (businesses with up to 25 employees),’ and was named as highly commended in the ‘Best Young Business’ category at the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards 2016. In 2021, Craig won the UK Poultry Farmer of the Year award.

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