FARMER Chris Rumming gets his turkeys to relax by playing classical music to them.

It is part of his approach to making the animals’ lives as stress-free as possible in the run up to Christmas.

He and wife Lindsay, who have Lydiard Turkeys in west Swindon are marking their 10th year of producing the birds for the table

“It is all about giving them the best quality life possible without worrying about the cost of this,” he explained.

The couple have created an extensive outdoor space to encourage the flock to spend as much time outside as possible.

They planted apple and plum trees where the birds can eat the fruit as it falls off - they can also eat undergrowth such as brambles and nettles to mimic their natural habitat.

And straw bales are spread inside the paddock for the turkeys to lie on.

Chris explained that usually farmed turkeys will only be allowed to live between 10 to 12 weeks. But he grows his flock of 375 for six months.

The farmer said: “The secret to our success is our passion. We do everything ourselves and we like to share that with our customers.

As far as he is concerned on of the most important part of the process is how they are slaughtered and the lead up to it. The qualified poultry slaughterman makes sure that classical music is played to the flock throughout their lives, so they are not prone to being spooked.

And the family have invested in a mobile slaughterhouse to make the final moments as least stressful as possible.

Chris added: “I wouldn’t let my turkeys leave the farm to be slaughtered anywhere else. Here we know that they will be less distressed and treated with the utmost care.

“I enjoy the process because I know that we are going above and beyond with the care we give.”

Once butchered the turkeys are sold from the farm gate on collection days, with cooking tips.