“I’ve worked with Sportsman Game Feeds for 17 years. They offer a great service. If I want to order anything, I find I can get it straightaway. The service is pretty hard to beat.”

Sean Mason

Continually monitoring and adjusting feeding programmes are two key elements when producing top quality game birds in challenging weather conditions on North Yorkshire’s Urra Estate.

Head keeper Sean Mason understands that getting the nutrition right, and correct feeding his game birds, can never be an exact science, especially when he’s rearing birds in colder conditions.

“The laying birds find it a bit harsh because we are 1,000 feet up,” says Sean. “That’s why I like to rear my own pheasants where possible, I find that this way, they tend to acclimatise to the conditions a lot better.”

The estate has been continually developed and improved since owner, John Reeve took over in 2005, and the feeding and nutrition of the estate’s game birds plays a key part in the success of the commercial shoot that he hosts 70 days a year.

“I’ve worked with Sportsman Game Feeds for 17 years. They offer a great service. If I want to order anything, I find I can get it straightaway. The service is pretty hard to beat.”

Sean adds that the services and nutritional advice provided by Sportsman Game Feeds have been invaluable allowing him to ensure that the birds are in the very best condition which, in turn, brings clients back to the shoot time and time again.

For Sean, and his two under keepers, Gavin Wilson and Craig Ring, working closely with Sportsman Game Feeds means that they have access to the right type of feeds at the right time.

“We want a good feathering and a fit and healthy bird that is strong and will fly well, so nutrition and feeding are key. To achieve this, and help our birds through adverse weather conditions, we keep partridges on grower’s pellets for a bit longer.

“For partridge chicks I tend to start them on Game Starter Superfine Crumbs for a couple of days, and then move on to Game Starter Fine Crumbs. The partridge chicks are half the size of pheasant chicks so they need a little extra.

“It’s all down to how your birds are growing along with weather and habitat. If the weather conditions are a bit harsh, we do keep them on a higher protein feed for a bit longer.

“The quality and health of the birds is very important and if you have to spend a little bit more on them then it’s definitely worth it to get the right results."