The producers: Deutscher’s Turkey Farm

Author: Richard Cornish

When it comes to talking turkey, the best birds have lived the good life.

WHO Daryl Deutscher grew up in the Wimmera region where his grandfather raised rare-breed turkeys. When a small farm with a licensed abattoir came up for sale, Deutscher moved south to Dadswells Bridge where he stocked his farm with a multicoloured flock of commercial and rare-breed birds, including the Bourbon Red, Crimson Dawn and Sweetgrass.

HOW The turkeys are raised in a shed for the first eight weeks before being released into fenced open ranges that are moved periodically to prevent disease and to rejuvenate the native grasses. The turkeys are slaughtered on site, so they're spared the stress of transport.

WHY The free-range birds move more and are exposed to greater extremes of weather than shed-raised birds. This, combined with their rare-breed genes, gives them thicker skin with a lovely layer of fat under it. It roasts to a deep gold, with firm, dense and very flavoursome meat underneath that has been basted in its own fat. The birds are available at a dressed weight between four and nine kilograms, from about $15 per kilo.

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