A Turkey’s Not Just For Christmas

For Robert Lucey of Gartmorn Farm near Alloa, turkeys are not just for Christmas, they are an all-year-round way of life.

For Robert Lucey of Gartmorn Farm near Alloa, turkeys are not just for Christmas, they are an all-year-round way of life.

When his parents, Tim and Patsy Lucey, to moved to Scotland from their dairy farm in Suffolk in 1965 with their four young children, they decided to get into the growing market for turkeys.

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They bought Gartmorn Farm and the first turkeys were reared for Christmas in 1968. It remained a seasonal business for many years, with Tim firmly at the helm, producing long-legged turkeys for local butchers and wholesale customers. Patsy became well known for her boning demonstrations around the local area!

In 1989, Roger and his brother Norman took over the family business, which by then had progressed from a seasonal business to supplying butchers and wholesalers throughout the year, but by 1999, the wholesale turkey market was being flooded with foreign imports and it became financially unviable.

Norman made the decision to leave Gartmorn to concentrate on other ventures, so their sister Susan bought him out of the partnership.

Between them, Susan and Roger have transformed the farm into what it is today.

As Roger said: “In the past 18 years we have moved away from intensively reared turkeys and now focus solely on high quality, high welfare, free range chickens, ducks, guinea fowl and geese, alongside white and bronze turkeys for Christmas.

"This improved quality of life for the birds also improves the end product and has contributed to the great tasting meat that we now offer.”