Tell us a bit about how you started working for Farmgate?
I started as an Admin/Secretarial temp for 2 weeks and I was kept on for about 6 weeks before the job ended. The Sales Manager called me a week later and offered me a permanent position... I said yes! There were quite a few changes happening at the time, which helped me to grow and help develop Farmgate into the brand it is today.
Has much changed in the industry?
The industry has changed a lot in 18 years - product development has come a long way, and the way we work internally has changed too, enabling us to deliver and manufacture products more efficiently. Like in many industries, times are currently very challenging with the price of raw materials affecting feed prices and avian flu causing further problems but at Farmgate we’re here to advice and support our customers in any way we can.
I love visiting customers especially during chick and lambing season – it’s always my favourite time of year to be on farm.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
The job is so multi-faceted, no single day is the same. Working with many different colleagues and departments within ForFarmers makes my role varied and interesting. I love visiting customers especially during chick and lambing season – it’s always my favourite time of year to be on farm.
I have such a wide variety of customers from small to large set ups and I always make sure that they all receive the same care and dedication.
What are your top tips to create a happy home for hens?
Where possible, allow plenty of space and give them free-range; some hanging vegetables to keep them busy; interact with your chickens, they make lovely sound when you talk to them and a well-balanced nutritious diet.
Do you keep hens yourself?
I don’t sadly, I have 2 cats equally as demanding. Willow and Lily.
If you did, what breed would you choose?
I’ve always thought it would be lovely to have either Silkies, Sebright or Lavender Pekins. They are all very attractive birds, but I’ve also heard from customers that they have a soft nature making them easier to get along with and handle.
What piece of advice would you give to a new hen keeper?
Make sure you have the time and the space before jumping in and buying chickens. Do your homework first to read up as much as you can about the dos and don’ts of chicken keeping. Whilst they are relatively easy to keep, they do need daily care.
Why would you recommend Farmgate Feeds?
Farmgate Feeds is a trusted brand using only the best raw ingredients. Our laying diets are complete, fully balanced and within the range we have something to suit all chicken keepers.
How important is nutrition for chicks and what else helps them get off to the best start?
Early nutrition for chicks is very important. Chicks grow so much in the first few weeks of their lives, and they need a high protein, balanced diet to support their growth and development. A diet with ACS also prevents the chicks from contracting coccidiosis (a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract).
How can hen keepers ensure they get good layers?
Feed a well-balanced diet. Not all birds lay 365 days a year, so if you do want good “all round” layers research your breeds first - Rhode Island Red, Leghorn, Sussex, Plymouth Rocks, Ancona, Barnevelder and Marans make a great choice.