February 12, 2021

The Hampshire Down sheep, Saddleback pigs and 300 hens were very much part of Jane and Grant’s strategy for growth, however the ducks came as a bit of a surprise as son Robert arrived back from the market one day with 6 Pekin Aylesbury cross ducks! 

Robert (now aged 10) took this all in his stride and loved bringing a new project to the family farm. Now Robert is farming over 60 Pekin Aylesbury & Khaki Campbell ducks and their eggs have proved very popular in the farm shop and with Fred. Unfortunately Robert is currently finding the ducks are unreliable layers during the winter and some days Robert is only gathering 10 eggs but of course they still eat plenty of food! Many factors can cause ducks to go off the lay, including how they are housed.  Currently due to Avian Flu, Robert is having to keep all his ducks locked inside Grandpa Brand’s polytunnel. 

Robert said “I love in the summer to see my ducks splashing about in their paddling pools and quacking away but it’s important they are kept safe from the flu and I’m very lucky I have the polytunnel to use as they still get plenty light and I have a long water bath inside for them.”

In November 2020 cases of Avian Flu were identified on Orkney so an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone was applied to the whole of Scotland. Guidelines were quickly announced by the Scottish Government and it became a legal requirement for poultry farmers (even those with under 50 birds and people with hens in their gardens) to 

It is important to note that consumers should not be concerned about eating eggs or poultry given the expert advice about food safety and human health. 

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