When it comes to meat, turkey is a really healthy choice. Since it is naturally low in fat it can be used as a sensible and delicious substitute for beef and chicken in many recipes. All our birds are reared in houses that benefit from natural light in the day, restful darkness at night and good ventilation throughout.

essential Waitrose turkeys

These birds are reared in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Southern Ireland, in light, windowed houses and airy barns with natural ventilation and straw bales. These bales can be broken apart, keeping the turkeys occupied in much the same way as our essentials chickens. When dusk falls the turkeys get plenty of darkness, allowing them to enjoy a proper rest through the night. Temperature and humidity are constantly monitored when the birds are younger, to ensure they remain comfortable at all times.

Put simply the better we look after our birds, the tastier the meat that they eventually produce. Our essential turkey combines excellent animal welfare with great value and delicious flavour.

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Free range turkeys

Our award winning free range birds are reared in small flocks and enjoy access to open pastures as well as food, water and shelter. As such they can come and go as they please, though most choose to spend most of their time outdoors - especially at dawn and dusk.

The birds range freely across their paddocks, eating insects and pecking the trees and hedgerows before returning to their houses at night or to feed and drink. Fallen trees or specially built structures keep the birds active and occupied as they climb and perch.

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Bronze-feathered free range turkeys

Bronze-feathered turkeys are a slower-growing breed, which means they tend to boast full-flavoured meat with a wonderfully firm texture. These birds are fed a natural, cereal-based diet and have access to open pastures. This means they can come and go as they please, just like our other free range birds.

All of our standard bronze-feathered turkeys are reared in either Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, East Anglia, Southern Ireland or Essex.

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Dry-aged bronze-feathered free range turkeys

Bred from the oldest of traditional breeds, these bronze-feathered free range turkeys are reared in East Anglia and Essex using traditional farming methods. The bird is grown to full maturity over several months and fed on a cereal based diet. Experts will then hang it for a minimum of seven days The result is a full-flavoured turkey with a hearty, gamey flavour.

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Duchy Organic free range bronze-feathered turkeys

Duchy Originals from Waitrose includes a wide range of delicious products that are produced while helping to preserve British food heritage. As such Duchy organic free range bronze-feathered turkeys are reared to exceptionally high standards. These turkeys are reared on organic farms in East Anglia and the hills of Donegal in Ireland, where they’re
fed an organic diet and have free access to either organic pastures or woodland during the day. All the farms are independently inspected by Organic Farmers & Growers or by the Irish Organic Trust, ensuring high standards are maintained.


How does Waitrose ensure high quality animal welfare standards?

Quality and welfare are the prime considerations for our turkeys and indeed for all our livestock, so we work very closely with all our farmers, visiting each of them personally. Additionally our turkey farms are registered with the Turkey Federation Quality Assurance scheme.

They audit farms independently to ensure high standards of animal welfare and food safety are maintained. Our concern for welfare extends right through the rearing and transport to the eventual processing.

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