New hatchery, faster delivery for ducklings
That’s a lot of double digits, but duck and gosling producer Metzer Farms (both the team and family) is excited to announce the opening of their new hatchery in Memphis, Tenn.
Construction is currently underway with the first hatch date already planned for February 22nd, 2022.
This new state-of-the-art hatchery was strategically chosen to be in Memphis to take advantage of the FedEx World Hub, allowing for next day delivery to nearly every post office in the United States.
A quicker delivery makes for a healthier duck and happier customer.
We have come a long way since Metzer Farms officially started in 1972. Even before that, Olin Metzer enjoyed his flock of ducks to nurture his extensive gardens. When his son, John Metzer, graduated UC Davis in California, his plan was to take his father’s hobby and turn it into a “serious” business.
Since that point in 1972, Metzer Farms has steadily grown its flocks and variety of ducks and geese….and family.
John had never imagined that he would one day be opening a second hatchery in the South with his son, Marc Metzer, (that’s me!).
Faster ducks to you
Metzer Farms Tennessee will hatch four days per week, delivering direct to the FedEx World Hub airport. FedEx will sort the duckling boxes to fly out that same day to every major airport in the United States.
Once the ducklings (or goslings or chicks) land at the destination airport, they will be handed over to the United States Postal Service where they will be trucked overnight to our customers’ nearest post office.
Your local post office will give you a call that next morning allowing you to come pick up your new ducklings—that’s roughly 24 hours after being shipped.
In addition, Metzer Farms in Gonzales, Calif. will continue hatching for our west coast customers.
With a second hatchery comes huge logistical advantages, as well as some challenges. The first and most important question to answer was, where are we going to get fertile eggs?
For the past two years we have been traveling between Tennessee and California, building a relationship with a Tennessee Amish community. That relationship has blossomed and we are excited to have ten Amish families raise our duck and goose breeders.
They will care for the animals using the traditional Amish methods and sell back the fertile eggs for Metzer Farms to hatch into ducklings and goslings.
Ok, so we have locally sourced fertile eggs for the Tennessee hatchery. Our California farm will continue supplying our California hatchery with fertile eggs.
Will east meet west or vice-versa?
Now the most complicated challenge is managing hatch inventory to match geographic demand.
If past years are an indication of coming years, we anticipate that 80% of orders will ship from Tennessee while 20% will be west coast orders and will ship from California. Using this data, we decided to split our breeding flocks 80/20 between Tennessee and California.
But what about weeks when the demand between the west coast and rest of the country isn’t 80/20!? Well, we actually have a little more than 80% in Tennessee. We know by delivering direct to FedEx World Hub in Memphis, we can have the same next day delivery time to the west coast as our California hatchery.
So, whether we see an increase on one side of the states or the other, we will still be able to achieve our goal of a quick delivery time.
The new waterfowl capitol?
We are moving into Tennessee with great excitement and hope to make Memphis the waterfowl capitol of the world.
In addition to our presence, there is also the headquarters of Ducks Unlimited as well as the famous Peabody Hotel’s daily duck march in downtown Memphis. There is excitement in the community for us as well and we enjoyed a well-attended ground breaking.
We will be hiring 20-30 team members to work in the hatchery. In addition, we currently have a job opening for a remote Marketing and Business Development Director to help with our continued success. (Email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
About the author
Marc Metzer is the third-generation owner/manager with his father, John, of Metzer Farms, a waterfowl hatchery that ships over 35 breeds of ducks and geese throughout the U.S. and internationally. He also operates Olinday Farms, providing free range pastured local organic duck eggs to chefs, restaurateurs, and food service.