UK Covid restrictions could mean a smaller turkey this Christmas

Story and video from Euronews

Feeding time for the turkeys on a farm in Dorset in England, only this year they might not have to gobble down so much.

Thanks to Covid-19 restrictions on large gatherings, organic turkey farmer Mark Chilcott is anticipating an increase in demand for smaller birds this Christmas, although he knows it's a gamble.

"If we run out of small sizes then people have to have crowns or joints or half turkeys basically nothing else we can do," explained Mark. "But we expect to sell out easily this year, demand's really quite good...as far as sales go we're ahead of last year."

30 PHOTOS
Pictures of the week: October 11- 17
See Gallery
Pictures of the week: October 11- 17
Precious Muir attends Mila Alexander's solo art exhibition 'Awakening' at Clarendon Fine Art Gallery in Mayfair. (Photo by Phil Lewis / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A woman looks at masks in a shop in London, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. The British government has moved London to its second-highest COVID-19 alert level as authorities seek to slow the exponential rise in infection rates across the country. The government also increased the risk level in seven other areas, meaning millions of people will be barred from meeting socially with anyone from outside their households and they will be asked to minimize travel. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
'We'll be Back soon' sign outside closed Prince Edward Theatre looks increasingly unlikely. Coronavirus restriction signs and reminders are seen around London as the capital has been moved from Tier 1 to Tier 2, meaning it is on "high alert" for coronavirus and people must not socialise with others outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting. These increased measures are in addition to existing national restrictions on gatherings of more than six people and mandatory closing time for the hospitality industry of 22:00. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A female Atlantic grey seal in the sea covered in seaweed at a remote breeding ground in Pembrokeshire, where newborn pups spend their first few weeks in the rookeries intensively feeding before shedding their white coats. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William, right, visit the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, England, Thursday Oct. 15, 2020, to view the Energetics Enclosure and display of weaponry and tactics used in counter intelligence. (Ben Stansall/Pool via AP)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/10/15: Santander bikes at the docking station in London. (Photo by Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 15: Robert MacIntyre of Scotland warms up on the floodlit driving range ahead of the first round of the Scottish Championship presented by AXA at Fairmont St Andrews on October 15, 2020 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Maskey fashionable face mask shop in London's Chinatown. Maskey was the first company in the UK to offer fashionable face masks for sale through vending machines, now opens a shop selling �Mistick� multi-purpose sanitizer in London's Chinatown. (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A young stag stands in the light of the rising sun during the rutting (breeding) season which takes place in autumn, in Bushy Park, south west London, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge wearing a face mask to protect against coronavirus, arrives to visit the Institute of Reproductive and Development Biology, at Imperial College in London, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. The Duchess of Cambridge visited the London research centre to hear about the work that national charity Tommy's are doing to reduce rates of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool)
London's first electric taxi since the Bersey Taxi in the late 1890s. The vehicle based on Nissan's e-NV200 Evalia MPV is the first to be approved by transport in London for use as a 'Hackney Carriage' and has been adapted to be fully wheelchair accessible while having the ability to carry five passengers. The conversion work was carried out at Dynamo's Coventry HQ. (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Denmark's Christian Eriksen, left, scores his team's first goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium in London, England, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via AP)
Bar Convent employee Lauren Masterman relaxes after cleaning a historic George and Arthur Maw tiled floor created in 1867, one of only two surviving examples of this assemblage of tiles, at England's oldest living convent Bar Convent. Visitors to the convent are being invited to follow in the footsteps of residents from the last 150 years and enjoy the historic space decorated with rare 19th century floor tiles. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall strokes a horse during her visit to Ebony Horse club in London, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. (Ian Vogler/Pool Photo via AP)
Sunrise over Blyth pier in Northumberland. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
People queue outside Barclays Bank in London. (Photo by Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to Black and White) A member of the groundstaff remarks the lines prior to the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round match between Cray Valley Paper Mills and Aveley on October 13, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
A community bus�from the Metropolitan Police is parked in Chinatown. Police Officers belonging to the Chinese�and South East�Asian�Staff�Association meet with people from the local area. (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Signage seen at the Tesco metro supermarket in Dean Street, which has a traffic light system to let shoppers know when it is safe to enter the store so it can adhere to social distancing restrictions. (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Lucy, one of two rescued 19 month old brown bear cubs enjoys playing with a pumpkin as part of their enrichment at the Wildwood Trust in Herne Bay, Kent. The orphaned pair who were found abandoned and alone in a snowdrift in the Albanian mountains have been acclimatising at the trust to their new life in the UK before moving to a permanent home next year.
Farm cattle dogs from Wiltshire, Flo, right, Gus, centre, and Ruby, left, look out of the window of vehicle during a farmers protest outdside Parliament in London, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. Tractors travelled to Parliament in London as MPs vote on the Agriculture Bill, aimed at blocking the import of lower-standard produce. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Managing Director of Plymouth Boat Trips, Ben Squire, gives the thumbs up as MP for South East Cornwall Sheryll Murray pours champagne onto the bow during the launch of e-Voyager, the UK's first sea-going electric ferry, at Torpoint in Cornwall.
A person wearing a face mask to try to stop the spread of coronavirus walks across London Bridge, with Tower Bridge in the background, at sunrise in London, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. In response to the coronavirus' resurgence, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce in Parliament on Monday a three-tier local lockdown system, formally known as "Local COVID Alert Levels," for England, his office said. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Members of the public wearing face masks stand near a statue of The Beatles in Liverpool, England, Monday Oct. 12, 2020, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to lay out a new three-tier alert system for England. The Liverpool City Region is expected to face the tightest restrictions under the new system, which will classify regions as being on "medium", "high" or "very high" alert. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 12: People, in the Rubber Soul Beatles Bar in Mathew Street, in the heart of the city's nightlife, watch British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announce strict lockdown rules for Liverpool which includes the closure of bars and betting shops on October 12, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Under a new three-tier system, English cities will be subject to lockdown measures corresponding with the severity of Covid-19 outbreaks in their areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 12 A woman wears a Covid-19 protective face mask as she walks past a mural of the Beatles on October 12, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Under a new three-tier system, English cities will be subject to lockdown measures corresponding with the severity of covid-19 outbreaks in their areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Veteran fundraiser Lloyd Scott (right), who is attempting to climb the Three Peaks in aid of Lord's Taverners charity whilst wearing a deep sea diving suit, reaches the summit of Mount Snowdon in Snowdonia, north Wales. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Farmers in tractors take part in a protest over food and farming standards, organised by Save British Farming (SBF), Westminster, London, on the day the amended Agricultural Bill returns to the House of Commons. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
People walk along the Streets while holding umbrellas during a Rainy Day. (Photo by Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Senior aide to the Prime Minister Dominic Cummings and UK Government Adviser Cleo Watson arrive in Downing Street London, ahead of a meeting of the Government's emergency committee Cobra to discuss areas suffering a surge in Covid-19 and measures to combat the spread of the virus.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Many people have predicted the demise of the turkey on festive menus in recent years, but producers say that's not what they've found.

Quality not quantity is also the name of the game at Copas Turkeys in southern England they go for happier, stress-free birds, and argue that that's the way to keep up the tradition.

"You know as well as I do that there's veganism, vegetarianism is becoming much more popular, but what we're very proud to say is we have a couple of customers that are vegetarian that come back to us and eat our product at Christmas," said the farm's sales manager, Verity Copas.

You would think the prospect of less of their flesh being eaten would be welcomed by the birds, but pollsters have found that turkeys still don't vote for Christmas.

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS