A new heavier strain of goose is to be introduced this year by Norfolk Geese, a major supplier of day-old goslings.
This larger framed bird with a greater meat-to-bone ratio is aimed at producers seeking oven-ready weights of 7.5 to 8 kg (16.5-17.5 lb) at 24 weeks full maturity. It is a growing sector of the market among larger households at Christmas.
The strain, known as the SuperStow, has been developed by Gulliver Geese selecting from two established and proven large breeds over a number of years.
Norfolk Geese and Gulliver Geese will be undertaking rearing trials with the new strain, and a limited number will be available to customers.
In introducing the SuperStow to customers, Eddie Hegarty, of Norfolk Geese, said: “We feel this is the way forward to show all customers that we are continuing to provide the best.”
Another development this year at Norfolk Geese is that the company is hatching earlier, beginning on April 9.
“Due to another early spring triggering the birds into laying three to four weeks sooner than usual, we will be hatching a week earlier to compensate,” says Mr Hegarty.
“Those customers who order late into the season must take into account that this early laying will result in a shortened season.”
He adds: “We feel that the earlier hatching this year will enable all to take advantage of the quality spring grass which will in turn provide you with a more mature bird.
“This will result in a much superior end product and with market trends leaning towards traditional free range poultry, you will be in a good position to supply this market.”