Aims and Ambitions

For several years now, the turkey has been cross bred so many times, that our original breeds of turkey are in danger of extinction.

I believe this has happened purely through ignorance. A great many turkey owners have different breeds of turkey running around their yards, fields or gardens, allowing them to mate as and when they will. This has led to ‘mixing’ the colours and bringing about the demise of our traditional turkey breeds.

The pure breeds of turkey are now on the endangered list and sadly we have reached the point where there are not many turkey breeders left with pure blood lines.

Fortunately, there are a few breeders like myself here in the UK who have conserved pure bred turkeys and have projects going on to try and preserve and protect what’s left of their bloodlines.

These projects are long term, and all turkey owners can participate by ensuring they do not mix the bloodlines of different breeds of turkey. Breeding true to type should be the aim of every turkey owner. There is nothing quite as beautiful as a pure bred turkey.

Here l am sitting at my breakfast table. Thinking to myself about the position we are in with the beautiful turkey.
There are some fabulous examples out there of how beautiful a pure breed turkey should look like, just as there are some awful examples too.
I ask myself can we really save the majestic turkey from decline? There’s so much work to do and it worries me greatly.
It hurts me to say that the majority of turkey keepers are just interested in making a few bucks for Xmas .
Just look at the facts, take a look at websites there’s always ads for turkeys for the table, look at most markets they are there too.
It’s all about making money.
You even hear about some organisations who claim to want to save the turkey from extinction yet even they sell turkeys for the table.
Don’t kill them, find homes for them. Stop being a hypocrite – do the right thing .
Don’t breed so many – be selective.

Late September 2016

This month has turned out to be very busy .
I’m collecting some new turkeys, namely Blues, Bronzes and Narragansetts.
All surplus to requirements.
I’m extremely lucky to have such good relationships with people who actually believe what I’m doing is wonderful for the turkey and their existence.
To succeed where others have failed before you is very satisfying.
Mind you at this rate l may have to purchase more land as my enterprise is growing rapidly!
I’ve had so many calls from people with unwanted turkeys .
You would be amazed at the amount of birds out there. I would just  like to say to everyone don’t breed so many. Yes it’s great watching them grow when they are young, but they grow fast and before you know it they are fully grown then you’re stuck with what seems to be unwanted turkeys. Please think twice. Next time leave the major hatching to the big boys .
I would hate to see them end up in markets where most will be killed for someone’s dinner plate.

I have had several calls and Emails from overseas for large amount of turkeys. However l don’t want to go down that road yet as l feel we need to help the breeders and exhibitors here in the UK first. That’s my priority.

….David Hawkeswood

keeper of Rare Breed Turkeys in the UK
Phoenix Rare Breed Turkeys