Farm: “We farm a mixed enterprise that includes tillage, forestry, sheep and turkeys. We buy in a hundred or so ewe lambs in September and sell them on as breeding hoggets. The turkey business started about 25 years ago, and we have been doing it ever since.”

Turkeys: “We buy them at six weeks old in August and after a month, we let them outside during the day, and they’re in at night. Our 600 turkeys graze in the orchard; they have plenty of grass and eat any of the fallen apples. We feed them a small amount of ration and wheat that is grown on the farm, just to put a layer of fat under the skin.”

Processing: “The processing starts on 11 December and is supervised by Department vets for the five days. The turkeys are hung in a cold room until about the 20 December, where they are then cleaned out, leaving them oven-ready to be collected by customers days before Christmas.”

Breeds: “All the turkeys are free-range bronze turkeys – it’s an old fashioned breed that takes about 20 to 21 weeks to mature. They are a slower-growing breed and become more mature; they have lots of flavour.”

Customers: “We are basing our orders on long-established customers. The first week of December will be busier for orders being placed. A lot of our customers would be local, but we have people who come from Dublin, all across the midlands and up into Sligo. Some customers regard the bronze turkey as traditional. My two daughters and son help out with filling orders.”

Future: “We have no plans to expand our enterprise and are happy to stay at the size we are, where we can manage the processing of the turkeys with the help of our family. I’m happy with the number we are rearing at the minute, as we can manage the processing of them.”