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Nempnett Turkeys

Slow Grown  /  Beyond Free Range  /  Traditional


Day Old Poults

All of our turkeys arrive on the farm as day old poults hatched by The Kelly family at Farm Gate Hatcheries and go straight into our brooders which are kept at the perfect temperature with plenty of clean shavings, fresh food and water.


They are very fragile at this age, so take a lot of looking after, good job they are very cute, its never a chore checking the turkey poults!

young turkey poults

out on to Pasture

At around 6-8 weeks old when the turkeys have grown all their feathers they are ready to go out onto pasture. We raise our birds differently to most; in a totally pasture-raised system. Basically this simply is Turkeys living out on pasture 24-7, with a mobile shelter we call a 'gobbledego' which is designed to allow the birds to express their natural behaviours; to roost and perch as they would in a tree in the wild. Their shelter is fully portable meaning we can move it to fresh pasture regularly. They spend every waking hour out on pasture, in the fresh air and natural sunlight, this really is Turkeys the way nature intended. The turkeys love being outside, especially in the late afternoon; eating foliage and bugs enhances their meat's depth of flavour. Spending all of their time outdoors, these birds mature very slowly and get lots of exercise, doing what turkeys love to do, meaning they live a joyful stressless life which all plays a vital role in the quality of their meat.

What about predators?

Obviously, the birds that stay out on pasture day and night are much more vulnerable to predator attack, whether that's from a fox, badger or buzzard, they are out there in the pasture looking good to all predators. This is where our livestock guardian dogs comes in.

We have two Maremma's; Bear and Holly, who live out with our pasture-raised poultry all the time to keep them safe day and night. They originate from the Italian alps and were bred to live up in the mountains to protect flocks of sheep from wolves, turns out they will protect almost anything they grow up with and they do a great job at it to. They are amazing dogs and we really couldn't let our birds have the freedom they have without them there to watch over them.

farmer George with Bear his livestock guardian dog, with he pasture raised and free range turkeys in the background

Turkeys on the move

What we love most about this model is that the birds are moved to fresh pasture regularly and that they are out from dawn till dusk foraging, sunbathing, and generally just enjoying being in the pasture. The land doesn't get muddy, or stale or overgrazed, instead, it's beautifully fertilised with turkey poop and then rested to be sanitised by nature and time. 

It is a clean, natural system that's completely off-grid and free from dust or ammonia. The turkeys forage really well and can get up to 40% of their feed intake from the pasture alone, once the turkeys have grazed and fertilised the land it is then rested to recover before being grazed by our 100% grass-fed beef herd; circular farming at it's best.

the ford family with their pasture raised free range turkeys and livestock guardian dog

Grow slow

At Nempnett Pastures we believe quality should never be rushed so our turkeys are traditionally grown slow; 6 months in fact, nearly twice that of most turkeys. This allows them time to develop slowly; putting less strain on their bones and muscles so they can grow strong and healthy, maturing when they would naturally.

Age and maturity play a huge role in the flavour of the bird with most of their intramuscular fat being deposited once they're mature. The older the bird the more flavour it will have. 


70% of our turkey's feed is made from cereals and pulses from a local farm, which we then get milled and mixed on-site, reducing our food miles and improving our sustainability. All of our turkeys and chickens are finished on a soy-free, antibiotic-free and hormone-free diet.

Dry Plucking and Dry ageing

When the time comes for our turkeys to have their 'one bad day' (the getting ready for the table bit!), all of our birds are respectfully and humanly slaughtered, dry plucked and hand processed individually on our farm. Our traditional, artisan, processing techniques are what sets us apart from the supermarkets. Dry plucking individually allows us to dry age our birds; this is something you can't safely do if the birds have been mass wet plucked (like they do in large-scale factories) due to the increased risk of bacterial contamination.

Dry ageing is a traditional technique allowing a natural enzyme reaction to happen in the meat, which breaks down the muscle fibres tenderising the meat. Water is also lost from the muscle through this process, this enhances the depth of flavour of the meat and results in very little shrinkage during cooking. It also actually makes meat juicier which is maybe the opposite of what you would expect. The dry ageing process is not only costly in refrigeration time but also weight loss; as the meat ages, it naturally loses water and so therefore weight. We seek to get rid of moisture while others inject it in (apparently) well weight is money I guess! But we want you to have an incredible eating experience and value quality over quantity.

Dry plucking and dry ageing our mature birds allow us to produce a very safe product which is tender, juicy and bursting with flavour. Sure it adds a lot of costs, but the end result is a centrepiece to one of the most important meals of the year and we want to make sure it's perfect for you!

dry plucked turkeys, dry aging in a chiller ready for christmas
a beautifully cooked pasture raised and free range nempnett turkey
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