Press Centre

The Real Rustle Asda puts turkeys on 24 hour security watch

Turkey rustling has become an increasing problem for turkey farmers this Christmas, even the Prince of Wales has had his entire flock stolen by turkey rustlers as canny thieves looked to profit from the highly valued birds. As the major supplier for all Asda’s free-range organic turkeys, Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd are being extra cautious by placing a security guard on 24 hour watch over the special birds.

Asda’s organic turkeys which are reared in Norfolk are the crème de la crème of all turkeys sold in supermarkets and can fetch sizeable amounts on the black market. With increased consumer demand in turkeys this year, farmers and retailers are pulling out all the stops to outwit wily rustlers and to make sure customers don’t go without.

As well as being closely guarded they are treated with extra special care; they spend the first six weeks of their lives in conventional housing, after which they are moved to small mobile systems that after 4-5 days have the doors are opened where they can roam free. Food is kept in the unit so it stays fresh and dry. Most of this year’s turkeys from Asda were born in mid July so are six months old. They are given a comfortable straw bed, regular baths and many are given objects to peck – toys such as CDs on strings, cabbages, sprout stalks and even straw bails to lounge out on all make for healthy, happy turkeys.

Mark Lawton, Customer Planner Fresh Meat and Fish commented, “Day and night our security guard has a bird’s eye view of our precious gobblers. Turkey rustling is a problem for all farmers, but we prefer to be vigilant at all times. It’s not just the two legged rustlers that need attention, it’s also the four legged kind as well.”

Mark added, “We can now sleep easy at night knowing our precious turkeys are in safe hands and are under the watchful eye of the best farmers in the land. It means that customers are guaranteed a fresh, tasty and juicy turkey on Christmas day”.

Asda’s turkeys are sourced from Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd who have been farming turkeys for over 20 years and rear the finest Kelly Bronze Turkeys – named after award winning Derek Kelly who has been farming turkeys since 1972. All turkeys are free range and British and will be in store from 19th December.

Posted in Press Centre on 06 December 2009