The men from Denmark who set up a trout farm in Kerry.

Hans Schmidt the managing director of Rainbow Limited talks about setting up and operating a trout farm in Kerry.

Hans Schmidt moved to Ireland from Denmark four years ago. His business now employs fifty people, four others are also Danish. It can be a challenge to find the right people for the work but Hans Schmidt believes  young people are best suited to be trained for the job.  

Raising trout is a long process beginning with the eggs which come from Denmark by air, packed in shallow ice boxes to prevent them from hatching prematurely. Upon arrival, they are washed in a mild solution of acid and then laid in long shallow troughs. Within three to four weeks, they hatch. For the first few days, they feed themselves from the egg sack which is still attached to them. Once the egg sack disappears, they are permanently hungry. There are now six million of them to be fed. As they grow, they are moved to bigger trays. The fry are protected to a certain extent by the sheltered environment in which they start life. After a few weeks, they are transferred to less protected ponds outside where they will need constant feeding. 

In the rivers about one fry in a hundred survives. The rest are eaten by bigger fish or die of starvation. Here, protected from enemies and disease, at least one in three survives. From six million eggs, the farm will produce two million mature fish.

In financial terms, the two million fish are worth around £165,000. 

Farm manager Mr Hansen describes how one of the major challenges is to prevent seagulls from poaching the fish and the preventative measures they have put in place. 

This episode of 'Discovery' was broadcast on 28 April 1964. The reporter is Brian Cleeve.