Luke joined Aviagen® Turkeys Ltd on 1st January 2019 as a Trainee Management Specialist. Throughout his first year with the company, he ran our commercial trials farm managing day-to-day tasks, carrying out weighing & assessments of the birds and was promoted to management specialist. He continues to give the site support on technical advice and help on weighing days and when the site needs setting up.
My role at ATL as a “Management Specialist”, involves working with customers across Europe to advise them on how to achieve the maximum performance from our birds focusing on day-to-day management. My intention is to create a solid understanding of our customers businesses to ensure that we can give the most suitable advice and get the best out of different production systems including training to help develop the local work forces. Below is how a typical day looks for me visiting a customer within Europe.
2.00 am – Alarm goes off after a shorter than preferred sleep. A quick coffee tops me up for the first few hours of the day, which will be spent in a busy airport. After getting all the luggage in the car, we are ready to set off to the airport.
4.00 am – After an hour’s drive to Manchester airport, I make my way through check-in and security (which can be the most stressful part of the trip in recent times!), if I’m lucky and get through in good time I will be able to get a coffee and some breakfast at one of the cafes.
6.00 am – Departure! I try to get on the earliest possible to flight to my destination which is normally around the 6am mark. This means I get almost a full day with the customers and maximise any time on farm.
8.30 am – After an hour and a half’s flight (8.30am destination time, 1 hour ahead of the UK), I have arrived and made my way out and to the car hire. Once familiarising myself with the cars controls and prepping to drive on the wrong side of the road… I set off towards the customer’s farm.
10.30 am – Seven and a half hours into my day and I’ve arrived at my first farm. We normally visit either one or two farms per day depending on the customer so bio-security is at the forefront of everything we do. On this occasion, we are visiting a breeder-rearing farm in the morning and a laying farm in the afternoon. Once we have showered into the farm, we commence into the houses where we find first week old poults just been let out of the rings. Overall the birds seem happy and everything else in order just a tweak of the ventilation settings to lower the CO2 levels and we are good to go.
12.30 pm – Dinner time! Thanks to Google translate, reading the menu is no longer a problem when travelling so you can order with confidence. I normally go for a soup or broth to start with, strawberry soup being a particular favourite so far! Followed by a salad with some kind of meat. That’s me fuelled up for a busy afternoon.
1.30 pm – We are visiting a laying farm in the peak of their production, luckily this farm inseminates in the afternoon after the peak of eggs has been laid which, allows me to see all the processes the farm are using. I normally start with looking that the milkers and then following the same semen through the cycle to the inseminating of the females, giving a hand or showing different techniques to the staff. This allows me to get up close to the birds and understand how they are feeling and producing. The final thing to check is the egg collections and whether the flock has any floor layers. If they do, tell the staff how to deal with this and reduce it as much as possible.
4.00 pm – Before leaving for the hotel we will have a meeting with the farm manager and senior management team to discuss what we found during our visit and discuss any questions they may have.
5.00 pm – Farm visits have finished for the day so now we make our way to the hotel for the night. After check-in and a very quick bag drop off, we meet our customers in the reception area and head for dinner where we will talk turkeys for the rest of the evening.