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Free range and pastured turkey directory

Australians eat more than five million turkeys each year, with demand for whole birds peaking at Christmas.

The turkeys mainly come from three producers: Ingham (owned by US-based TPG Capital) with 60–65 per cent of market share, Baiada (with brands Lilydale and Steggles), and Quast Turkey Farms.

Gobble gobble.

Two breeds are commercially grown in Australia, the dominant Nicholas and the Hybrid. Much like commercial chickens, they've been bred for rapid growth and higher body weight, with birds ready for processing at 70 days. This growth and emphasis on breast meat places pressure on their legs, so they suffer from chronic leg disorders: leg weakness, joint problems and bone fractures. In intensive systems, the turkeys spend their entire lives in sheds that can house up to 20,000 birds.

While dieticians praise the meat for its low fat content, is it really healthy? For whom? Cooped up in close proximity to their brothers and sisters—this breeds disease—to prevent this requires routine antibiotics in their water or feed.

Gobble gobble.

If you do the turkey thing, buy the best you can afford. Order early and chat to the farmer about any of your concerns.

Look for these brands at farmers’ markets and local independent stores near you. Taste the difference and tell your friends!

Contribute: Do you know a farm that should be here? Email info@flavourcrusader.com for inclusion. Learn about the directories.

NSW
Eugowra Game Birds, Eugowra
Brendan Sheldrick and Leanne Crofts' bronze turkeys live their entire lives outdoors, foraging, flying and roosting. The farmers process the turkeys on-farm at six months.


Wynlen House, Braidwood
To sustain healthy turkeys, Bronwyn Richards and Helen Lynch graze the turkeys on mineral-rich soils, and supplements their feed with farm-made mash.



ACT

See NSW producers.


VIC
Deutschmarks Turkey Farm, Dadswells Bridge
Daryl Deutscher grows and processes more than a dozen varieties of rare turkeys. He runs 6,000 turkeys open-range and shifts their pens to fresh grassed areas. He leaves used areas for lengthy periods to re-grass and reduce the chance of disease buildup.


Leadoux Turkeys, Bairnsdale
Judy Leadoux and family free range and process 4,500 turkeys a year in the open barns and grassy paddocks; they keep their operation at a manageable size and take pride in producing a quality product.


Pete’s Pride, Ruffy
The turkeys are raised by Marj Leigh, at Namparra Leigh, a farm of 320 acres, located in the amazing tablelands in North East Victoria.



QLD

Bendele Farm, Kilkivan
Fred and Sarah Sterns are dedicated to working with nature not against it; their turkey production is free from chemical pesticides, growth promotants, herbicides, antibiotics and genetic modification. They hand process their birds to minimise stress.


Greenag Farm, Cutella
Ewart and Suzanne Sylvester grow organic turkeys in a free range environment. They buy day-old poults that are raised in a shed and then moved to paddocks to roam in small groups; supplementary feed is home grown and milled certified organic feed. The turkeys are sent for processing at 12 weeks.



SA

Almond Grove, Murray Bridge
John and Deb Holland free ranges 5,000 turkeys for the Christmas market. They are raised from day old in hay bale sheds, with Maremma guard dogs protect them from foxes once on pasture. Their diet is supplemented by locally sourced organic feed.


Freshwater Turkeys, Clare Valley
Jason and Claire Longbottom breed and free range several heritage varieties of turkey.


Pooginagoric Free Range Turkeys, Bordertown
John and Robyn Watson produce and process up to 30,000 turkeys each year. The turkeys are purchased as day old poults, kept shedded and under heat lamps for six weeks; they then free range in paddocks with trees. Call the Watsons on 08 8753 7213 for your closest local merchant.



TAS

Contribute: If you know a farm that should be here, email me at info@flavourcrusader.com

WA
Contribute: If you know a farm that should be here, email me at info@flavourcrusader.com

NT
Contribute: If you know a farm that should be here, email me at info@flavourcrusader.com