Top Turkeys for Christmas
Sam Figgis tells conservation news about how his childhood dream of raising poultry has become a reality
A happy turkey for a Happy Christmas – that’s what keen young farmer Sam Figgis is offering. The 21-year-old is passionate both about animals and about good food, a winning combination for his business Sam’s Turkeys which is based in Hernhill just outside Faversham.
An outdoorsy young man and a
Leaving St Edmund’s School in Canterbury at 16, he went to agricultural college then travelled the world a bit before being offered an opportunity by a retiring local turkey farmer. Sam had also worked for and learned a lot from renowned KellyBronze Turkeys, which have been endorsed by Delia Smith and Jamie Oliver.
“I like turkeys and wanted to diversify from fruit growing. Actually, I like all animals,” he says, telling of a fascinating ‘conversation’ he recently witnessed between a bunch of turkeys and a pheasant – which you wouldn’t get in an industrial turkey shed!
Sam buys five-week-old bronze turkey poults in June to raise to maturity for Christmas. They are free-range and slow-grown with a longer life than the average supermarket bird, allowing tenderness and flavour to develop. “Welfare of the birds is key,” says Sam. “I know they have a very good life.” They are given freedom to roam over four acres and as well as being fed a traditional natural turkey mix, they are happy to be given a few apples from the farm and the opportunity to forage the ground for other food.
Hand-plucked, hand-prepared and hung for at least 14 days, the birds are guaranteed under the Golden Turkey Quality Assurance scheme as a premium product.
This is Sam’s second full season and his enthusiasm is growing. He hopes to raise 1,000 turkeys next year, and his ambition is for Sam’s Turkeys to become a well-known and trusted brand among people who appreciate what they eat.