Turkeys are in trouble
THE tradtional Christmas turkey is in danger of dying out, which is why the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) has launched an appeal for information and funding. It categorises all 10 breeds native to the UK as ‘priority’— no one knows whether the Nebraskan, or grizzled, turkey even exists any more—and, says RBST field officer Richard Broad, apart from the Norfolk Black, the traditional breed most common to the festive feast, they’re all shrinking in numbers; commercially farmed turkeys are mainly hybrids.
‘We’re trying to spread the word about how to keep the birds and to find out about numbers and the response has been exciting—most people don’t realise that there are delightful traditional breeds that may take longer to rear, but that taste like proper turkeys,’ explains Mr Broad.
More good news is that a new one, the Harvey Spotted (it’s white with red specks)—or Speckled, the name isn’t finalised—bred by Carol Harvey in Cornwall, should receive a Poultry Club of Great Britain breed standard by next Christmas. To help, visit www.rbst.org.uk or telephone 02476 696551. KG
Traditional: the Norfolk Black