Dina Elizabeth Cornelius

16 November 2023

General Worker, Focused on the Runner Ducks

The favourite part of Dina Cornelius’s job is working with the fluffy Runner Duck hatchlings.

Dina’s excitement while talking about the ducks and geese on the farm is palpable and after four years of working on the estate, her enthusiasm is not waning.

She has a long history with Vergenoegd Löw. She started in the vineyards and after a while asked to work with the ducks. She left the farm for a while, but the pull of the feathered flock was too strong. Now, she and three workers manage the ducks every day. This means moving them to different areas for feeding or pest control in the vineyards, the daily route passing the manor house, or guiding them for a relaxing day on a dam.

Graceful Pest Control Patrol: Runner Ducks waddle past the historic Vergenoegd Löw manor house on their way to the vineyards, a charming spectacle as nature's own pest control team takes charge.

Graceful Pest Control Patrol: Runner Ducks waddle past the historic Vergenoegd Löw manor house on their way to the vineyards, a charming spectacle as nature’s own pest control team takes charge.

August and September is breeding season when the eggs from the breeding flock (separate from the hard working ducks in the vineyard), are collected to go into incubators. Once a week the eggs are examined to remove the ones that will not hatch. Once peeping begins, she knows that soon there will be a new generation of ducks and geese.

The Duck Lady’ holds her precious charges close to her heart

The Duck Lady’ holds her precious charges close to her heart

She is excited to come to work every day and the first thing she does is to check if any eggs have hatched. “I feel proud of my handiwork!” Another room, with the right temperature and enough food and water, receives them for another period. After that, the juveniles are put in a separate camp before joining the rest of the flock.

She has seen a huge improvement in the development of the farm since Professor Peter Löw took over the business.

She says the morning and afternoon “check-ins” keep everyone on the same page and prevent misunderstandings about the tasks for the day and the following day.

The word “family” comes up again and again in conversation and to her great satisfaction, her son, Nicky Alexander has joined the estate. He is actively involved in the hospitality sector, working under the guidance of Angelo and Tina Casu.

Dina loves caring for the ducks, and she grows attached to all her charges. “I often get the sense that they thank me for what I’m doing for them,” she laughs.