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New Ducklings are Star 11's of the show

Today it was time for another new flock to be hatched and at around 5:30 on the morning of July the 6th the Star 11's flock entered the world.

What we will do over the next coming weeks is take a closer look at what happens to our flocks in the build up to becoming layers of our wonderful eggs, and hopefully give you an insight into the life of our ducks. There are many things that need to take place in order to insure these beautiful ducklings grow up to become happy and healthy, and we do all we can at the farm to make sure this is what happens.

The first thing to explain is the flock name Star 11's. This may sound like a very random name but it is in fact derived from the type of bird they are. The breed that we use for our laying birds is as you know a Pekin duck but the strain of Pekin is a type called Star 13. We felt it only right that they should keep their 'family' name and now with the 11th flock hatching the Star 11's are born!

The eggs of the Star 11's came from the parent flock we have here on the farm. A special, fully vaccinated flock, which provide us with healthy, safe eggs from which to add and replenish flocks when required. As we do not over work our birds and tend to retire them earlier than is perhaps required we have a system which sees us almost continually rearing and hatching. The eggs would have been collected from the parents and then taken into the hatchery area where the first steps are taken to insure a healthy, safe duckling is hatched.

The eggs are inspected to identify any which are unsuitable for incubation, and once this has taken place they will then be 'fogged' with a special chemical to reduce any chance of bacterial contamination. From there they will head into the setters, where they spend 24 days on special trays which are slowly tilted back and forth to simulate the mother's actions in the nest. 13 days into this they will all be checked again, making sure that they are all fertile and that the incubation process is happening as it should.

After the 24 days they move through to the hatchers. Each egg will be checked again to ensure the process of becoming a duckling is taking place. The hatchers have special sensors and controls to make sure that the eggs are kept at the perfect temperature and humidity.

4 days later they are ready to enter the world and are carefully checked as they make their way out of their shells. They are all transferred into clean, disinfected trays and make their way through to a separate room where the meet Simon, our sexer, who will make sure that they are little girls and will lay us lovely eggs.

Once their inspection from Simon is complete they will head over to the brooding shed, which will have been prepared just for them. The shed will have had a full and thorough wash with specifically designed chemicals, and completely disinfected ready for the Star 11's to grow over the next 20 weeks.

Over the course of those weeks they will have more adventures, meet Lewis who will continue to keep them bacteria free with vaccinations, learn about their special diet and grow into strong, healthy, and bacteria free Ducks.

We will continue to update you on the story of the Star 11's, giving you more insight into their unique upbringing, and when they reach the laying age we will let you know when thier eggs are hitting the shelves so you can keep an eye out for them. Who knows you may have an egg from the little one in the picture!!