Comment: Skiing at ‘poultry on the piste’ fills me with new ideas

By Matt Donald, pig & poultry farmer, north Yorkshire

A hectic month is coming to an end, the second week brought the annual poultry on the piste, a conference of around thirty five delegates who meet in a ski resort-yes a ski resort!

A trip I’ve attended for four years now, the information and contacts I have come away with from this experience have been priceless. We have a series of lectures throughout the week, ranging from nutrition, new technologies, on farm equipment and ‘my farm’ presentations. All have something relevant to your own business.

It is not only the lectures that are educational, but the opportunity to spend a week learning from others and discussing all things poultry. The chances to network in previous years have brought about my connections with draperVent, who we have used on our recent project, but also many others who I’m in touch with for advice throughout the year.

The NFU conference, as expected, focussed largely on Brexit issues. As Minette Batters addressed Michael Gove, it was clear to me she will do everything within her power to ensure the government does not undermine the excellent work that UK farmers carry out.

I can’t help but feel we have a great opportunity in the poultry industry and I’m positive about the future. Poultry meat now accounts for 49% of all meat protein eaten, with a growing global population and the increased drive towards healthy living. Surely we still have a good few years of growth ahead!

The challenge for future farming is the need to produce more from less and using technology to meet the demands is an exciting one.

On farm, the mild weather is giving us the ability to get on with outdoor jobs while we can, but I’m sure winter will be back with a bite. The demand for chicks appears to have increased slightly in recent weeks, so our depletion dates have not been brought forward. This we are thankful of, because with minimal maintenance on the new site, we could turn around in three weeks if needed. Stripping down and washing the nest and equipment is a timely task on a breeder unit, but one vital to get perfect to aid chick quality on the following flock.


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