Festive auctions offer chance to buy a champion turkey for Christmas dinner

Auctioneer Tim Blyth on the rostrum at the 2020 Keys Christmas Poultry Sale

Auctioneer Tim Blyth on the rostrum at the 2020 Keys Christmas Poultry Sale - Credit: Newman Associates PR

Festive poultry auctions are being held across Norfolk in the week before Christmas - offering bidders a chance to snap up a champion bird for their dinner table. 

Despite the poultry sector's challenges of supply chain issues, bird flu restrictions and the Covid pandemic, the traditional sales are going ahead.

In Aylsham, a festive tradition is being held for the 69th year in a row – although there will be fewer birds going under the hammer than in previous years.

Around 100 locally-reared turkeys, geese, chickens and ducks will be up for auction at Keys’ annual Christmas Poultry Sale on Tuesday, December 21.

Keys director Tim Blyth said: “Our Christmas poultry sale is a wonderful Christmas tradition, which brings together local producers and local consumers.

“The widely-reported supply chain issues, coupled with an increasing avian flu problem across the UK, has meant that there are far fewer birds available this year.

"But we were determined to continue with the sale and offer people the opportunity to come and buy their Christmas dinner – even if the sale will be smaller in scale than in previous years.”

The sale starts from 11am at Keys’ saleground off Palmers Lane in Aylsham, with viewing from 9am. To ensure Covid safety, this year’s sale will take place in a large, open-sided building.

Most Read

Later on the same day, Norwich Livestock Market will also be holding its festive poultry sale, starting from 6pm on December 21.

About 250 birds have been entered so far, including turkeys, geese and chickens, although more entries are being taken until sale day. 

The Hall Road market said it would "like to thank all of our loyal vendors and buyers for supporting us this year" and advised everyone to wear a mask on site if possible.

Fabian Eagle's Christmas Poultry Auction at Swaffham Racetrack is scheduled for 11am on December 18 - although auctioneers stressed they are not able to sell live birds due to national bird flu restrictions.

And the last chance to bid for festive poultry comes at the TW Gaze Christmas Poultry Show and Sale at Diss Auction Room, which returns this year after it was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid concerns.

The auction starts at 5pm on December 23, with viewing from 4pm, and face masks need to be worn in the sale room.

Around 250 turkeys, ducks, geese and chickens, all from farms within a 10-mile radius, will be sold after being assessed by show judge Tom Harvey of AD Harvey poultry processors in Bunwell.

TW Gaze director Ed Baskerville said: "It is part of the tradition for many people.

"They know that what they are buying is locally-produced, oven-ready and fresh - that is the reason we ensure the sale is as close as possible to Christmas Day."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter