Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Turkey farmer confident over business refuses to get in a flap about Brexit

Published 24/11/2016

David McEvoy with one of his free range turkeys in Louth
David McEvoy with one of his free range turkeys in Louth

One of Ireland's biggest independent turkey farmers has insisted he will not be getting in a flap over Brexit.

Louth-based David McEvoy, who will be feeding thousands of families this Christmas, said he was confident the UK's vote to leave the EU would not have a bad impact on his all-island business.

He said: "I have no concerns about Brexit.

" I can't see them stopping the movement of poultry throughout Ireland."

From June, every year, Mr McEvoy rears some 2,500 birds on his land at Termonfeckin.

The biggest this year will weigh about 25lbs when fully grown.

He said he sleeps alongside the turkeys to ensure they have the best start.

Unlike intensively grown turkeys, Mr McEvoy's do not have their beaks cut and develop full feathers.

They are sent for processing across the border at a plant in Rasharkin, Co Antrim, from December 10.

"I get them as day-old chicks and sleep in the shed for the first two weeks of their life," he said.

"Turkeys are very fragile and you have to get them warmed up properly before they get their feathers. But a fter about five weeks they are strong enough to go outside.

"And they are just like little children who don't want to leave their mammy, at first they don't stray too far from the shed but by 10 weeks they go everywhere in the field.

"The real hard work for farmers is at the beginning and then at the end."

But Mr McEvoy has never been tempted to keep a turkey as a pet, despite their "great personalities".

"They are produced for food and the satisfaction I get is knowing that they are grown in a healthy way; they see the light of day; they are out in the fresh air from August to Christmas; they see the sunshine and are grown in an environment that suits their characteristic."

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph