Ian Rix – Red Tractor duck farmer
Ian Rix is a Red Tractor duck farmer from Suffolk who knew he always wanted to be a farmer: “My parents were farmers and that got me interested in it. I love ducks, to me they’re like pets just on a large scale and I enjoy looking after them.”
To maintain Red Tractor Standards on traceability, safety and farming with care, Ian follows strict procedures to ensure that his ducks are kept in great condition. Arriving at the farm from the hatchery at one-day-old, the ducks are housed in four sheds. Ian operates a straw-based system and makes sure his animals are bedded up with straw once a day to keep them comfortable and clean and to keep their feathers in good condition.
In the morning Ian and his team do a walk around to carry out a visual check of all the ducks to make sure there is nothing wrong with any of the machinery, feed or water. The key is to make sure that everything’s ok and the ducks are all in good health. Temperatures have to be recorded daily along with maintenance records, and quantity of water used.
Ian ensures the health and happiness of the ducks by following Red Tractor welfare standards: “When we have a Red Tractor assessor, they like to see a clean and tidy site and well-looked after animals. It means looking after the ducks with good welfare standards like proper ventilation, good straw, good care, regular daily checks, attention to water, food, and anything that makes a duck comfortable and happy.”
Ian’s ducks are produced for Gressingham Foods and, when Ian started farming, people would buy whole Gressingham Ducks. More recently, he says people want different cuts which he thinks is in part to do with chefs creating recipes and ideas of different ways to cook with it.
However people use the duck they buy, Ian believes that looking for the Red Tractor logo on duck sold in supermarkets is important to British shoppers: “Shoppers are patriotic and they like supporting British farmers. When you see Red Tractor on a product you know that it is well produced – produced in the UK and produced to a high standard.”
Take a look at how Ian cares for his ducks in the below video. You can also dig a little deeper to find out more about Gressingham Duck in Red Tractor’s Our Partners section.