A battle between two turkey-plucking titans to find the fastest to hand-strip two birds of their feathers ended in a win for veteran Vincent Pilkington.
The contest was held between Mr Pilkington, of Cootehill, County Cavan, the Guinness World Record Holder for plucking a single turkey, and Paul Kelly, of Kelly Turkeys – the fastest man to pluck three.
Mr Pilkington challenged Mr Kelly to a “champion of champions” pluck-off in the middle ground – fastest with two turkeys.
The event took place at Mr Kelly’s home, Little Claydons Farm, near Chelmsford, where contestants each plucked two 17lbs white hen turkeys. Mr Pilkington won with a time of 11mins 8sec. Mr Kelly finished 33secs later.
Mr Pilkington admitted his speed had slipped since the 1min 30sec record he set in 1980 for a single turkey, which was recorded on RTE television.
“Remember I’m retired now but I still like to keep my hand in helping local farmers with plucking their turkeys at Christmas — and it paid off today,” he said.
Mr Kelly admitted he came out second best on this occasion — and congratulated Mr Vincent, whom he first met when they both competed in the World Plucking Championships in Sussex in the early 1980s.
Turkey plucking champions read Poultry World. Secure your copy today