A new breed developed to help producers meet the growing demand for smaller Christmas turkeys is being introduced this season by FarmGate Hatcheries. The Super Mini Special has been bred to achieve hens that will meet the demand for 4-kilogram (8.8-pound) oven-ready turkeys when grown to full maturity from 22 weeks plus.

“The 4-kilogram weights are so hard to get from other small breeds grown from June hatches,” said Paul Kelly, managing director of FarmGate Hatcheries, of Danbury, Essex, U.K.  “We’ve tried and tested this new breed over the past four years and it’s perfect for guaranteeing the 4-kilogram over ready weight band, with the stags giving great 6 to 8 kilograms over ready turkeys.”

The Super Mini Special has been developed from pure bronze-feathered male and female pedigree lines used in producing the company’s Tiny and Super Mini poults — an essential feature of the breeding program.

“Our small breeds of bronze turkeys are the genuine article, bred from a bronze mother and a bronze father,” said Paul Kelly. “[They are] expensive to produce, but bulletproof when it comes to a probing press and food journalists.

“We’re also very pleased with the meat quality of our small breeds.  In our own kitchen we’ve found the Super Mini Special to have a particularly high meat yield, with delicious eating qualities and very fine textured meat.”

Limited supplies of poults of this new breed will be available, in both bronze and white, both as sexed hens and as-hatched, from mid-May and after.