The following story is an edited case study supplied by Noble Foods.
A free-range egg farmer has told of his relief at returning to production a year after avian influenza hit his farm.
William Waind, a 25-year-old farmer keeps hens for Noble Foods Happy Egg brand at his holding on the Yorkshire coast.
“It’ll be nice to get back up and running and back to some normality.
“I’ve been very lucky with all our members of staff who are all coming back to work at the farm too, which I am over the moon about,” William said.
William first began producing free-range eggs at 20 years old, taking on responsibilities from his father.
He also grows cereals, potatoes and oil seed rape – all valuable commodities for local trade.
The farm also has a dedicated shop with its own café and pick-your-own strawberries in the summer months.
The decision to re-enter production follows a thorough maintenance effort on William’s sheds.
William shared, “It’ll be good to get birds back in and get back up and running as it’s been a long 12 months.
I’m fairly nervous, as we really don’t want to go through the whole AI process again. But this is a challenge we’re all confronted with as free-range producers. The priority is the welfare and safety of our birds, they always come first.”
AI can often be passed by unavoidable circumstances, such as migrating birds flying over the range.
So, to further enhance his biosecurity defences, William has implemented several measures.
Changes in the packing rooms, daily range checks, and strict hygiene protocols have been established to tighten biosecurity and minimize risks even further.
William praised the support from his packer, Noble Foods, in particular cover arranged by the packer.
“The Noble Foods & NFU partnership has been very supportive for the next flock and thankfully insured our farm, which I was fairly shocked at, as no other insurers were taking on any other producers due to the high risk.