Farmers | Ian Rix Duck Farmer | Red Tractor

Farmers involved

Ian Rix - Red Tractor duck farmer

Added 03 May 2016
"I've always wanted to farm ever since I was a child,” says Ian Rix, a Red Tractor duck farmer from Suffolk.
“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.”
Being Red Tractor assured, Ian follows strict procedures to ensure that his ducks – produced for Gressingham Foods – are kept in great condition.
Arriving at the farm from the hatchery at one-day-old, the ducks are housed in four sheds, each with 12,000 in them.
“In the morning we do a walk around and carry out a visual check of all the ducks and 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 operates a straw-based system with his animals bedded up with straw once a day to keep them comfortable, clean and their feathers in good condition.
“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.”

When Ian started farming, people would buy whole ducks. But now, he says, people want different cuts - a trend, which he thinks, is in part to do with chefs creating recipes and ideas of different ways to cook with it.
“Shoppers are patriotic and they like supporting British farmers,” Ian said. “When you see Red Tractor on a product you know that it is well produced - in the UK and to a good standard.”
You can support Red Tractor farmers like Ian by looking for the logo on food packaging next time you go shopping.

Geoff Buchanan, managing director of Gressingham Foods said: “We are very proud that our Gressingham Duck has been awarded Red Tractor Assurance.
“We have invested considerably in the welfare of our ducks and this accreditation endorses our commitment to quality food and farming and the high standards we strive to achieve.”
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