Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farming: Geese Plus Turkeys a Winner for Farmers

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farming: Geese Plus Turkeys a Winner for Farmers

Article excerpt

Byline: By Anna LognonnA

WHEN it comes to getting ready for Christmas, County Durham farmers Martin and Judith Dryden start their preparations at the height of summer.

At the beginning of the heatwave in June, the couple bought 100 goslings, which have since been grazing happily in the field at Murton Moor Farm in Murton village, alongside 550 free range Kelly Bronze turkeys, which arrived in July.

Although the Drydens have been rearing free range turkeys for seven years, rearing geese is a new venture for them. But consumer demand persuaded them it was the right option to take.

Mrs Dryden said: "We had quite a few phone calls last year from people who said that they knew we reared turkeys but were wondering if we also sold oven-ready geese for Christmas. I told them we didn't, but I said I would try and source one for them.

"However, when I started making phone calls I discovered that there was no-one in the region selling geese and we thought that we could cater for that niche in the market.

"Also, in the run-up to Christmas, a lot of the celebrity chefs on TV were encouraging people to go out and buy a goose for the Christmas dinner so I felt that the demand would be there."

Mrs Dryden contacted the British Goose Producers, who helped her to source some goslings from Eddie Hegarty, of Norfolk Geese, and then provided her with advice and tips on how to rear them.

She said: "The society has been absolutely fantastic and they have really held our hands through the whole process."

To top it all, the Drydens were named joint inaugural winners of the John Adlard Memorial Sponsorship, which was set up by Norfolk Geese to help newcomers to the industry get off to a flying start. They received 20 free goslings and lots of help and advice on rearing and marketing the birds. …

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