A day in the life of a duck farmer

This month’s blog post comes from Wesley McGuire.

Wesley is currently on placement year from Harper Adams University, he has been spending time in each department of Gressingham, from turkey brooding throughout the summer on the farms, spending time with the environmental manager at Redgrave offices, working with the duck breeders on the laying farms, starting at the crack of dawn in the hatchery, and finally spending a few weeks with marketing team.

We asked Wesley to talk us through an average day on a Gressingham Duck farm in Suffolk…

“My days starts early, the alarms goes off at 6.00am and i get ready and have my first cup of tea of the day with a bowl of cereal, then i travel over to the farm in Thetford. I started here seven weeks ago and saw the day old ducks arriving from the hatchery, they are now fully grown! The first job of the day is to check the ducks are all looking healthy and that all of the feeders, drinkers and machinery is working as it should. I also adjust the temperature and light levels in the barn to make sure the birds are comfortable as the outside temperature increases.



When the ducks first arrived from the hatchery.






The next job is placing fresh straw down for the ducks, they like to forage for grain and roost in the straw and it helps to keep their feathers in top condition. Next it is time for lunch break, i normally grab a sandwich and some fruit in the break room. After lunch i go back to the barns to do another welfare check on the ducks to ensure they are all in perfect condition. The afternoon is then filled with cleaning and replenishment tasks to ensure the biosecurity is kept to a very high standard on the farm. Time for a tea break (and a few biscuits to dip in!) and then on to the final welfare check for the day to make sure the ducks are still healthy and happy before the evening. I then travel back home and either crack on with some studying or train with my local rugby team.

I have loved my time at Gressingham and am hoping to return when I have finished my studies at Harper Adams”


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