TRADITIONAL REARING AND SLAUGHTER OF CHRISTMAS TURKEYS IN ENGLAND
 
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Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 2005;55(Special issue 1s):75–78
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ABSTRACT
The paper is a result of student practice in Copas Traditional Turkeys Limited in Coockham in England. During Christmas time in England there is no family table without baked turkey on it. For the sake of special taste and high quality the turkeys bred in a traditional farming system become preferred by British people. The qualitative characteristic of a product is linked to the selection of slow growing turkey lines. Slaughter maturity of such lines is usually achieved later then after175 days. Another important factor influencing the quality is processing technology as well as post slaughter storage of not eviscerated carcasses for a certain period of time. Feeding the birds includes the diet composed of natural components only, with cereals being the major part of fodder. No antibiotics or growth promoters are allowed. For the first 8 weeks of life the birds are hold in open type sheds under the conditions of natural light and ventilation. Later for not less then 119 days the birds have free access to grass and woody playground. These conditions assure the maintenance of natural 24 h daily cycle and have an important impact on birds; welfare. This is a factor of special attention paid to it. The slaughter process is conducted without the use of water with special care to skin of birds, which has to remain intact. These are the key points for creating proper conditions of cold storage period until evisceration. The electrodes placed into the beaks are used for birds stunning. To avoid the damage of skin surface the trimming cut of internal blood vessels is applied instead of external slid. After trimming the beaks are clipped and waxed to protect against penetration of bacteria. There is no scalding of birds in this type of processing. For dry removing of feathers the machines are used during the first step and final picking is conducted manually. After feather removal, non eviscerated carcasses are hold at 4°C. Such storage influences the special taste of meat. The storage lasts for as long as 2–3 weeks, still without undesirable sensory changes. Manual evisceration is conducted with a little help of mechanical devices only. To reduce the contact of carcass abdominal and external surfaces with water, dry cleaning is applied to these surfaces. Every particular bird is packed into a separate cardboard and wrapped with paper. Rosemary’s twig and hermetically sealed giblets are put into the cardboard. Those farmers who follow the rigorous requirements of traditional breeding of the turkeys can label their products with the Golden Promise sign. This guarantees and testifies the top quality of the product.
ISSN:1230-0322