Small Flock Hand Reared Turkey – How to Choose the Right Size


You can see from this picture we took early this morning, that the flock of hand-reared turkeys at Holmansbridge that we buy for our customers, is a small and very select flock.

We are putting these on our website now for pre-order – as many of our super-organised customers like to tick these things off the list sooner rather than later.

Holmansbridge Bronze and white turkeys are hand reared on the farm and have grown naturally, foraging in the field and tucked in a warm shed at night.  Left to their own devices in the daytime, they are free to roam around and behave as these birds should do in a natural environment.

The proof of the [christmas] pudding is clearly in the quality of the meat.  It’s at a premium, obviously, but what you are buying from us is the best possible for the table.  All the turkeys spend their life on the farm and are traditionally prepared ready for Christmas by hand, as the Holmansbridge farmers have been doing for three generations.  The birds are hand-plucked and dry hung which gives a stronger, richer flavour – almost a bit gamier but vastly different from some bland supermarket birds.

So, as we said, you can pre-order and then relax as your turkey will be delivered on Christmas Eve.  Sizes will vary, but the longer you leave it, then you might not get the choice of size you need.

If you are looking for smaller sizes then we can sell turkey crowns, which are more expensive than buying the whole bird, but obviously a bit more manageable for smaller parties.

Another alternative, if you don’t want to be left with a carcass after you’ve polished off the meat is to have your joint boned and rolled.  This is a perfect solution to cooks with a small kitchen or limited storage…or who have less time to cook a whole roast.

Buying the right size turkey is also important.  Generally you’ll want plenty for the next day and the chart below will give you fairly generous portions.  We have usually found there is enough for everyone on Christmas Day, Boxing Day plus some sandwiches and regular titbit treats for the dog.

Rough weight guide for a whole turkey

(which will leave plenty for the next day)

5kg (11lb) up to 6 people
6kg (13lb) up to 8 people
7kg (15.5lbs) up to 10 people
8kg (17.5lbs) up to 12 people
9kg (20lbs) up to 14 people
10kg (22lbs) up to 16 people

Tips for Cooking Turkey

The trusty Which? magazine has a fantastic and really helpful article which pretty much covers everything you need to know about turkey…

  • Choosing the right bird
  • Preparing the turkey including stuffing, giblets and seasoning
  • Cooking times and resting
  • Carving
  • Storing your leftovers

Click here to read the article

 But if carving the turkey is the most stressful part of the process, then here is a helpful video from Jamie Oliver to smooth the process and leave you feeling in total control of the table.


Small Flock Hand Reared Turkey – How to Choose the Right Size

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