Tablehurst Poultry

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Tablehurst Farm Shop

We have a flock of 350 Black Rock laying hens, which produce a sufficient number of eggs for the shop. They are free ranged in one of the orchard areas on the farm; they are rotated every 6 months or so over two parts of the orchard to reduce the build-up of disease and to rest the pasture under the apple trees.

Table Birds

As we process up to 200 birds for the shop every week in our bespoke on-farm facility, Tablehurst Farm Shopwe need to have a cyclic throughput of table birds from day-olds up to grown birds of 12 and 13 weeks. Conventional birds are finished at 6 weeks! We have a chosen a slow growing strain of broiler and the chicks are hatched in an organic hatchery. We grow them from the day old under heat lamps till they are ready to go to the field at about 4 weeks where they free range from the mobile sheds we bought in 2005. These five sheds are moved after each batch of birds so that the new batch has access to fresh pasture. Last year we planted avenues of plum trees between the sheds to enhance the environment for them (i.e. to provide shelter and to reduce the amount of "sky" as they see it!).

Every June, we buy in 400 day old turkey poults to grow for the Christmas market. We have a number of different strains in order to get a range of weights for our customers. Like the table birds they have to be reared under heat for the first weeks until they are ready to go up to the field, which is specially set aside for them. All the fields where we keep poultry have to be very secure against foxes and so these fields have high permanent electric fences - otherwise we would very quickly have no poultry to sell! Like the table birds we are able to slaughter and process them on the farm.