The Slate Blue turkey has been rescued from obscurity by Asda just in time for Christmas.

The supermarket has boosted the bird's breeding numbers and is feeding up 500 of them for festive lunches. They are being sold under the Extra Special brand for £6.99/kg and will be supplied fresh and just-in-time.

Asda said they were tastier because of their diet of organic grain and the freedom to perch in trees on the farm. "This form of natural exercise allows for the traditional trim shape of the bird and produces a rich flavour and texture," said a spokeswoman.

Traditional Norfolk Turkey is farming the Slate Blues. The decision to resuscitate the 19th century breed was triggered by a survey of Asda customers, which showed 33% planned to buy premium poultry such as guinea fowl, duck and goose this Christmas.

More than 350 enquiries have been received to date, so the effort has paid off.