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​Farmers May Have To Downsize Turkeys For Christmas To Fit In With Rule Of Six

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​Farmers May Have To Downsize Turkeys For Christmas To Fit In With Rule Of Six

With the government's 'Rule of Six' expected to last for another few months at least, many people have been left wondering what that might mean for Christmas plans.

While many of us are used to large gatherings with family and friends, this year it looks like we may have to scale things back slightly - potentially including the food.

Those gigantic turkeys we're used to scoffing may not be needed for a smaller bash - meaning poultry farmers are having to think ahead about possible changes they'll have to make.

It's now too late to grow naturally smaller birds, as normally farmers hatch turkeys in the spring so that they can spend the summer fattening them up in time for the festive period.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

However, one producer is looking into alternatives like rationing their food and slaughtering them early.

Nick Davis, who runs Usk Vale Poultry in South Wales, usually raises 70,000 turkeys for Christmas, but reduced his order to 56,000 in the spring when it became unclear about how this year would pan out.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, he said: "We have to decide what size people want and you can't even tell me today what size that might be.

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"We can play around with rations a bit, and we can slaughter them a week or 10 days earlier, so we can reduce the size to a certain extent."

The British Poultry Council, meanwhile, is encouraging people to simply 'take what's available, even if it's a slightly larger bird' in order to support farmers.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Lynsey Coughlan, Operations Director at butchers chain The Ginger Pig, also said some people are considering other birds this year - treating themselves to more expensive birds like goose or duck after a difficult year.

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She said: "People call up and say, 'I'm thinking of doing a goose.'

"We're like, 'Good call, madam,' because it's the traditional six-person bird."

Boris Johnson has also hinted that slight changes or allowances may be made for the festive season, vowing that the government would do everything it could to 'make sure Christmas for everybody is as normal as possible'.

During an interview with ITV News, the prime minister was asked whether families of five would be able to have 'both grandparents around for Christmas', or if he would 'let them off the rules'.

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Johnson responded: "Listen to me, we're doing everything we can, everything we can to make sure Christmas for everybody is as normal as possible."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Food, Christmas, UK News, News, Turkey

Jess Hardiman
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