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At Aberlour Game Farm, the aim has always been to provide clients with high quality pheasant and partridge poults. For owners, Peter Taylor and Ian Galland, reliable nutrition has been a key component in achieving this success.
Situated just below the heather line on the northern slopes of Ben Rinnes in Moray, conditions at Aberlour Game Farm can be harsh, with frequent spring frosts and late falling snow.
Clients demand healthy, robust birds that will grow on into the shooting season, and Abelour’s success at meeting these demands can be attributed to skilled management and the employment of proven practices.
“The quality of our birds is paramount,” emphasises Ian. “It is crucial that target maturity is reached before we deliver the birds to our clients. In reality this means the birds need to be well muscled, with a weather-proof coat of glossy feathers and are overall robust and healthy.
“Sportsman Game Feeds have been the foundation of the feeding programme, providing Aberlour Game Farm with reliable nutrition from the outset,” says Ian. “We offer day-old chicks high protein Game Starter Crumb to ensure immediate feed intake and follow with Starter Micro Pellets, before offering Sportsman Game Grower No 1 Pellets up to the point of dispatch.”
According to Philip Kammer, “This early nutrition is vital as it is at a critical stage of development for the birds, and survival ultimately depends on the level of early feed intake. Additionally, the building of muscle and plumage requires quality protein sources in the feed, and is something that cannot be compensated for later.”
Ian explains that quality fish meal, not just fish oil, is an essential feed ingredient that contributes to bird health and rapid growth. “This is an area where Sportsman Game Feeds delivers, with their inclusion of fish meal.”
After seven days of age the chicks are ready to be released out to grass.
“We aim for 97% of day old chicks to be reared, ready for delivery to our clients, by 45 days and occasionally we have even achieved over 98%,” says Peter.
“The reliable quality of Sportsman Game Feeds has been fundamental in reaching our goals,” he adds. “It helps minimise rearing losses, and allows us to deliver strong, healthy birds to our clients on time, which grow on to challenging birds for shoot days.”