Bidders flock to poultry auction to snap up Christmas turkeys

Keys' Christmas poultry auction in Aylsham

Keys' Christmas poultry auction in Aylsham - Credit: Danielle Booden

The chance to bid on a champion turkey for Christmas dinner brought buyers flocking to a historic festive poultry auction.

Keys' annual sale at Aylsham was one of several taking place across the county this week, offering fresh turkeys, geese and chickens from local farms.

Despite concerns over the latest Covid surge, and industry worries over supply chain problems and bird flu, the sale went ahead for the 69th year in a row - albeit with fewer birds than in previous years.

Keys director and auctioneer Tim Blyth said he was "delighted" with the sale, with 85 turkeys, ducks, guinea fowl and chickens going under the hammer.

“We were pleased with the turnout, with around 100 people attending the sale, which was held in an open-sided shed to ensure everyone’s safety," he said.

"Bidding was brisk and every bird was sold. With the smaller number of birds, prices were strong, with turkeys achieving between £5 and £7 per kilo.”

Keys' Christmas poultry auction in Aylsham

Keys' Christmas poultry auction in Aylsham - Credit: Danielle Booden

The Christmas auction at Keys’ saleground off Palmers Lane in Aylsham, traditionally the firm's last of the year, dates back to 1953. 

Other festive poultry sales this year include one at Norwich Livestock Market on Hall Road, starting from 6pm on December 21. 

More than 250 birds have been entered, including turkeys, geese and chicken.

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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.

Keys' Christmas poultry auction in Aylsham

Keys' Christmas poultry auction in Aylsham - Credit: Danielle Booden

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.

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