Hello dear friends and customers, THE LAST GOOSE HAS FINALLY FLOWN!
It is with great regret I have sad news to tell you all, – that there will not be any geese available from Holly Tree Farm this Christmas for the first time in 32 years! I am so sorry to have to disappoint you all this year but it is all due to the perfect storm of COVID, Brexit and Avian flu!
In March this year, my Norfolk supplier of quality baby goslings, who I have used for over 30 years, lost his flock of adult laying geese last summer and was trying all year to replace them thinking things would pick up later in the year, but of course COVID got worse preventing general movement etc. The young parent breeding stock my supplier uses, comes from Europe, and as it got towards Christmas 2020, not only did COVID prevent travel, but Brexit kicked in and livestock could not be moved through ports for fear of delays etc. Finally in January, he thought he was going to be able to bring the young geese layers in to his farm in Norfolk, when Avian flu hit all over Europe preventing any movement of bids, chicks or eggs and we are still in that situation now. He has not had any geese to lay eggs and then hatch goslings all year. My husband Michael and I tried all summer with every poultry contact we know in the industry, to try to get some goslings, but the only other supplier of goslings chicks could only supply the few people he normally does, so couldn’t supply us, and I was not prepared to compromise my usual quality buying a few goslings here and there to get the numbers required. The decision to stop producing geese was therefore taken out of my hands. I knew I would have to give up one day as our children are not interested in the enterprise but I had thought it would be a good few years into the future before I had to give up. It is with a very sad heart that I have had to take the decision that this is the end of my goose producing days and I will not be starting up again next year.
However the good news is that we are still doing limited numbers if our top quality, home reared turkeys, both the white, barn reared and the extremely popular bronze free range birds, for Christmas. The turkey chicks are bred locally for us to bring in and rear on our farms ready for Christmas and we will of course, take the utmost care looking after them to give you the finest quality bird for your Christmas table. We appreciate turkey is not everyone’s choice for their Christmas table but if you would like one of our special birds please do order through the website or get in touch.
Again my most sincere apologies for not having your traditional Christmas goose this year. It has been quite a shock to my system after being known as the “Goose woman” and producing Christmas geese for over 30 years. I do so miss seeing them grazing in the fields in the summer and hearing them talking to each other in the barn at night!
With best wishes to you all,