Pullet Rearer of the Year

Humphrey Feeds and Pullets

Humphrey Feeds and Pullets

Charles MacLeod, rearing director of Humphrey Feed & Pullets said the award was a “great recognition” of the hard work of the whole team.

“For us, it is very much about teamwork,” he said. “Our offering is not just the quality pullets, it’s the service that goes with it, and that stems from the contact we have with customers from when they place their order, right the way through the rearing process, and off onto the farm when they go into lay. It is one of the things that our customers are very much engaged with. We are very pleased to have won it twice on the bounce.” [Humphrey Feed & Pullets won Pullet Rearer of the Year in 2019].

Humphrey Feeds and Pullets has a long history of rearing high-quality pullets to order. Today, this is carried out on 11 sites, with high levels of biosecurity and bird welfare.

The business works with all commercial breeders focusing on breeds specifically for the free-range and organic sectors. It rears to order and supplies 1.5 million pullets annually from its rearing farms with sites ranging in size from 30,000 to over 100,000 birds and operating as single age units. 

Its sole aim is to deliver flocks that are able to express their full productive potential. Through attention to detail and extensive experience, it produces immunologically and physically robust point of lay pullets capable of sustained and productive laying cycles.

Its rearing houses are equipped to replicate the varying different systems on customers’ laying farms with jump-up, multi-tier system as standard. Feed and water are located in such a way as to train the pullets to be mobile, so that they can make a great start with the range of systems they will encounter on customers’ farms, reducing stress at transfer.

In 2019 it developed an in-house bespoke ERP system and is now able to create and record a unique diet for each customer’s flock, providing a dynamic, auditable record from initial customer contact and scheduling through to delivery and certification.

It is working to integrate laying flock performance data into this record, providing customers with levels of data to frame management decisions. Customers are encouraged to visit, handle and weigh their flock at the rearing farms, to see for themselves their birds’ progress, and receive weekly rearing reports.

Planning and preparation for rearing flocks takes place well ahead of placement; cleaning commences as soon as the previous pullets have been loaded. The equipment is dismantled, cleaned, litter is removed and surroundings are washed, dried and thoroughly disinfected. Once the equipment is replaced, and prior to the house being pre-warmed, the buildings are fogged with disinfectant to ensure the best environment for chick brooding.

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