Festive revellers may find smaller than usual turkeys in the supermarkets this year as poultry farmers 'downsize' in preparation for a Covid-style Christmas writes Sarah Lumley.

With just three months left until Christmas, farmers are growing increasingly worried that they will sell fewer large birds this year because of the 'rule of six' and other restrictions. Some farmers pre-empted a scaled down Christmas when they were hatching the turkeys back in March and chose to hatch fewer chicks, or more smaller chicks than bigger.

Meanwhile, other producers are preparing to cut their turkeys up into smaller portion sizes than usual - with one farmer in Essex planning to trial 'half-turkeys', after successfully doing so with geese.

Rob Morton, of Morton's Traditional Taste in North Walsham, Norfolk, told a local newspaper that he has had to "adapt" this year.

Speaking to Norwich Evening News, Rob said: "A lot of turkey farmers hide their head in the sand and never like cutting their turkeys up.

"But that is where the market is, so we have to adapt to that or get left behind."

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He added that he is anticipating customers may drop down from a 7kg turkey to a 4.5kg turkey, so that they can still have the whole bird.

Meanwhile, James Graham, of Peele's Norfolk Black Turkeys, near Dereham, Norfolk, told the newspaper that he reduced the number of turkeys he hatched in March by ten per cent.

He said: "I had to make the decision in March when the initial lockdown came in we were just getting the eggs ready to put in the incubator.

"I decided then to cut my numbers a bit and downsize, pre-empting a leaner year. I have gone down ten per cent, and I don't think I'll have a sell-out this year.

"The pure Norfolk Black is quite small, so it might work in my favour."

It remains to be seen whether turkeys will be cheaper in supermarkets this year in line with the potentially smaller birds.