Published 20 October 2015
Goose producers from across the country – and from as far as Ireland – flocked to Steve Childerhouse’s Great Grove Poultry in Norfolk for one of the best annual farm walks in more than 30 years of British Goose Producers.
On the farm at Caston on the edge of Norfolk Breckland – the traditional home of geese in the UK - they saw his 850 geese which graze free range 24 hours a day. Often flocks are brought in at night to the shelter of the farmyard for protection against foxes, but Steve uses high electric fencing which has proved effective in keeping them at bay.
Steve started with just geese about 20 years ago. They sold quickly when he placed a sign advertising ‘plucked geese’ at the top of the farm drive. Next year the farm raised and sold eight geese and 20 turkeys, and with expansion year-on-year he currently produces 850 geese and 9000 turkeys for Christmas.
He has developed a strong demand from butchers across much of East Anglia, as well as the buoyant trade with customers coming to the farm to collect their birds – part of the run-up to the festive activities for many local families.
- The event was also featured in the BBC Radio 4 serial The Archers where the recently arrived Fairbrothers are starting a new goose rearing enterprise this year and ruffling a few feathers among the Ambridge village community, competing with the Grundys’ turkeys that have had a free run of the Christmas trade for many years.