Farm manager (poultry)
Farm manager (poultry)
Farm manager (poultry)
Also known as a farm manager, unit manager, poultry supervisor, farm supervisor or assistant farm manager (poultry).
This profile highlights the skills and knowledge associated with the role. However, jobs will have varying responsibilities depending on level of the role and the size or type of the business.
As a farm manager in the poultry sector, you will help the senior management team make sure the poultry farm runs smoothly.
The role relates to the individual in overall charge of a poultry farm or unit. There are number of role names depending on the overall size of the farm. It could be that you work on a single poultry-only site. You could also manage a poultry unit as part of a larger mixed farm or chain of units.
British poultry farmers work to world-class welfare standards, so it’s vital that birds can always access food and water. You should also have the ability to identify disease and / or injury early and recognise when veterinary intervention may be necessary.
For indoor birds, you’ll need to make sure they have a clean and safe environment with good lighting, fresh air and enough room. Outdoor birds also need a suitable environment, with shelter, boundary fencing and the ability to move around freely.
You will oversee and carry out regular checks to protect the birds’ welfare. These checks will also help to meet farm assurance scheme requirements and production targets.
The poultry sector is wide and varied including chickens, ducks and turkeys amongst others. Within each of these sectors there is also sub-sectors concerned with breeding, rearing, growing (for meat – known as broiler chickens) and egg production for human consumption. Depending on the size and nature of the business these activities are likely to take place at different sites or within separate businesses. These businesses will then supply each other or the food market. Each of these sub-sectors will require slightly different knowledge and skills to successfully produce their end-product of birds or eggs.
You will carry out recruitment, training and supervision duties for new and less experienced staff. You will also carry out other management duties in relation to maintaining environmental and biosecurity standards, meeting production targets, running a sustainable business and maintaining high safety levels on the site. In addition, you will also need to have sufficient overview of the whole operation to carry out tasks usually assigned to other staff members if they are not available.
Depending on the size of the business, your working hours may vary, and you might need to work shifts and at weekends.
You will probably need to have your own transport to get to work. It likely that you will live on or near to the site often in a housing provided by your employer.
As a farm manager in thr poultry sector, your responsibilities might include:
- Meeting high environmental and biosecurity standards
- Making sure birds are healthy and well looked after by meeting their daily needs
- Following recognised procedures to keep birds in the best possible health
- Making sure the farm meets its production targets
- Helping the manager satisfy farm assurance schemes by meeting industry standards
- Being a good example of best practice for less experienced staff
- Completing tasks given to you by your manager, including any management tasks
- Recruiting, training and developing farm/unit employees
- Working safely and making sure all staff, visitors, and contractors work safely
- Making sure personal protective equipment (PPE) is kept clean and in good condition
- Rectifying any breakdowns and recording/responding to all incidents
- Keeping accurate records of all required data and correctly storing necessary documentation
Depending on the type of birds you are working with, their may be some more specialised responsibilities. Modern poultry units are often focused on specific areas, such as breeding, rearing, growing or egg production. A breakdown of more specific competencies within each of these roles can be obtained by downloading them from our capability framework.
To work as a farm manager in the poultry sector, you should:
- Have a keen interest in poultry and bird welfare
- Be abile to spot and report problems
- Have the ability to work well in a team or under your own initiative
- Be able to manage more than one task when working to deadlines
- Have a high level of motivation, with the ability to motivate others
- Be abile to communicate and listen well to others
- Have a reliable, positive attitude to work
You don’t necessarily need a formal qualification to become a farm manager working with poultry. However, you’ll need to complete the relevant British Poultry Training Initiative courses and have some experience of working with poultry.
As you progress through the poultry sector you should receive relevent training, which should cover areas such as biosecurity, health and safety, using personal protective equipment (PPE) and other areas relevant to your role.
Or you could study a related subject at college for a good understanding of the agri-food industry. See the qualifications and training section below.
There are also apprenticeship opportunities (also below) where you can earn and learn at the same time.
You can also gain experience by volunteering on a farm or smallholding.
If you live in a city or urban area you could volunteer on a local city farm, community garden, or allotment. You can find some of these in your area on the Social Farms and Gardens website.
It’s also helpful to have a basic knowledge of poultry diseases and health issues and how to help prevent them.
As a farm manager, you’ll have the following competencies supporting the farm manager to reach high welfare standards and productivity.
- Meet high environmental and biosecurity standards
- Make sure birds are healthy and well looked after by meeting their daily needs
- Follow recognised procedures to keep birds in the best possible health
- Make sure the farm meets its production targets
- Satisfy farm assurance schemes by meeting industry standards
- Be a good example of best practice for less experienced staff
- Recruit, train and develop farm/unit employees
- Work safely and make sure all staff, visitors, and contractors work safely
- Ensure all personal protective equipment (PPE) is kept clean and in good condition
- Rectify any breakdowns and record/respond to all incidents
- Keep accurate records of all required data and correctly store necessary documentation
Salaries are in the region of £25,000 to £45,000. This wide range is dependent on the size of the unit, your experience and the location.
This is usually a full-time position.
With further experience and training, you could become a farm manager on a larger mixed farm, or you could choose to explore other poultry-related roles, such as those in feed sales, nutrition, consultancy or as a health assessor.
If you work on a farm that produce eggs, you could decide to work with birds bred for meat. Or you could look for experience working in different farming systems, such as free range or barn systems.
Courses which can help you on this career path include:
Level 1 Diploma in Land-based Studies Agriculture
Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Agriculture
Level 3 Diploma in Work-based Agriculture
TIAH Essential Skills
Our online Essential Skills modules can help you develop your skills and knowledge in a range of areas and are a great addition to your CV.