Increasing numbers of families are opting for jointed products over whole birds. And for a big producer, it is becoming a growing and profitable part of its business.

In his annual pre-Christmas letter to hatchery customers, Paul Kelly of Kelly Turkeys said: “Although nothing beats whole roast turkeys for flavour and value, jointed products are proving more appealing to smaller families.

“The whole turkey will always be the centrepiece of the Christmas table for most families at Christmas, but we have to recognise that many gatherings are becoming smaller with the growth in single parent families and couples having fewer children,” said Mr Kelly.

“Already, 15% of our customers have a joint instead of a whole turkey.”

He stressed that farmers ignored this trend at their peril by thinking it is not enough money. “This was most people’s reaction when we had to bleed turkeys, and then eviscerate them. Markets change and we must change with them.”

Mr Kelly says that jointing a bird is a lot easier than eviscerating it and in recent years jointed products have become a growing and profitable part of his business.