Vines Cross turkey farm has the perfect solution for smaller gatherings

5th November

Vines Cross turkey farmers JR Sheffield are gearing up for a busy Christmas with their butchers reporting footfall across the year up 50 percent compared to last year.

Turkeys enjoying pumpkins

But press reports that turkeys are being starved or being put on a reduced diet so they fit a potentially smaller Christmas gathering are totally unfounded says Lucy, daughter of local turkey farmer J&R Sheffield.

“You cannot put turkeys on diets – it’s ridiculous. If you start reducing the amount of feed the quality of the meat produced will be will be affected and, more importantly, it’s not good for the welfare of the animal” stressed Lucy.

The solution for a smaller gathering that J&R Sheffield has come up with is offering ‘make mine a half, half the turkey, half the cost’. The bird will be cut straight down the middle, so customers will still get a mixture of white and brown meat. The traditional and much loved whole turkey or a turkey crown are of course still available to purchase.

J&R Sheffield’s new online shop, via their website means your festive centre piece can now be ordered and paid for on-line any time of day or night. Your order can then be collected from the farm in the run up to the big day. Local delivery can also be arranged.

Lucy explained: “We’ve spent since April planning and putting procedures in place to make sure customers and seasonal staff are as safe as possible. We will continue to do this as government guidelines dictate. All collections will be made in a Covid secure environment, one-way systems, social distancing as well as mask wearing will all be adhered to, keeping customers as safe as we can.”

In excess of 5,500 will be produced this year at the family farm with all the preparation, including the plucking, being carried out on site by family members and the help of additional agency staff.

“J&R Sheffield is a traditional family business. We are in our 70th year of trading and maintaining our heritage is really important to us. We’re not only hoping but urging people to choose to shop locally this year, using producers on their doorstep. We are also encouraging people to secure their bird early,” added Lucy.

New additions to the farm include some pygmy goats which, along with farm favourite’s alpacas Joey and Polar Bear, keep an eye on the flock. The birds are brought to the farm as day old poults at the end of May and beginning of June each year. They are kept indoors in large barns under heat lamps until around 12 weeks when they are then allowed full access to large roaming spaces or are part of the free range flock. Turkeys are treated to windfall apples and during October they enjoy pumpkins. The free range flock spend their days foraging nettles, turnip tops and docks while some enjoy dust bathing – just as nature intended

To order your fresh, local turkey go to

Look out for a competition to win a turkey which is coming soon!