Christmas comes but once a year - and when it comes to England it brings with it that curious English disease Turkey Fever.
After slaughtering, the birds are dipped in hot water, at 148 degrees F, for 30 seconds to soften before feathers are removed.
Machine plucking takes approximately 20 seconds.
After this operation the birds travel along a track which is moving at six feet per minute.
Here they are eviscerated - completely prepared for the oven.
Next shots out of continuity. Birds going into the blast freezer in 64 degrees of frost at - 32Ã¸ F. 2000 lbs of turkey are frozen in 3 1/2 hours here. In the large Holding Room, where girls are seen wheeling in a trolley of birds, the temperature is at Zero or 32 degrees of frost. The birds are kept in here prior to boxing.
Next shot is of Compressor Room where the engines operate the 'fridges'.
In the Nursery Section. With an intake capacity of 3,000 poults, turkey Chicks, Here are One Day Old Turkey chicks being examined on arrival. I Day Old Chicks in box.
Next are seen 14 day old chicks in their Battery Brooders. The chicks remain in here for 21 days.
In an open yard are seen some 750 large Cock Birds, weights 28-32 lbs, aged approximately 28 weeks. Various shots in open yard, masses of birds.
Close-up shots of one of the heaviest 'Stags' on the farm. A magnificent bronze Cock Bird weighing approx 40 lbs, aged about 36 weeks. He is 'strutting', with tail and wings stretched.
Bagging the finished bird in a special material "CRYOVAC". This bag is then placed on a machine which extracts all air, it is sealed, and is then dipped in water at 202 degrees F. which shrinks bag to shape of bird. It is then weighed.
An alternative method of freezing is seen. Birds in the Immersion Freeze, at -10Ã¸ F, 42 degrees of frost which gives a crust freeze of Â¬" thick in 20 minutes. The birds are then packed in boxes - and large quantities then go into giant Holding Refrigerators.
The Night Patrol, armed with shot gun, to ward off foxes or two legged intruders. Various angles on night patrol.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Christmas comes but once a year - and when it comes to England it brings with it that curious English disease Turkey Fever.
As the festive season draws near the anxiety of Mrs. Briton grows more intense. Will there be enough to go around? Will this year's prices be higher than last? How big a bird should I order? All these items of vital Christmas news are reported daily by the national press, often front page. Journalists are assigned to visit Turkey farms so that the housewife is able to keep abreast of news from the Turkey front.
Visnews assigned a cameraman to one of Britain's pioneer Turkey farms at Buckinghamshire, where Turkeys are raised from day old birds, fattened, killed, processed, vacuum wrapped, quick frozen and packed in insulated cartons ready for the oven at Christmas.
These 'ready for the oven' birds are plentiful this year at the super markets and self service stores.
Hoppers Farm, near High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, is the largest Turkey farm in Britain. It is also claimed to be the most modern in Europe.
Despite the gourmet's protestations that quick freezing destroy as the unique flavour, it is impossible to tell, once the bird has been cooked, whether it was quick frozen or not. Experts say that processed in the modern way, as opposed to hanging the dead birds up and plucking by hand, the bird is rendered free from dirt and drying up.