You can now order our Pasture Reared Chickens online for delivery anywhere in Ireland

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Jingle Bells! - Brooding Turkey Chicks

Our beautiful day old chicks landed last Friday, they need serious baby sitting for the first week to get them up and running.  Attention to detail is the key here; there is no margin for error.  Here is a quick, short list of some of the key issues:

Hygiene – the brooder must be clean and free from all traces of any previous chicken/ducks/geese etc.
Heat – the area for chicks are kept in must be maintained at 36 degrees for the 1st week and gradually reduced afterwards.
Ventilation – there must be a good circulation of air in the brooder.
No Drafts – this has to be achieved without any drafts.
A Circle Draft Guard - Place around the chicks for the first 2 weeks
Feed – a 23% plus chick starter ration must be provided & clean feed at all times.
Feed trays – Lots of them.
Bedding – Wood chipping only can be used, a good 6 inches to start with; it must be kept constantly clean and renewed.
Water – fresh clean water must be provided at all times.
Water Drinkers – Lots of them.
Brooder Design - No corners to avoid birds heaping up.
Lighting – Good lighting must be provided.
A Timer – During the day turn the lighting off and on every 2 hours.  This stimulates activity in the birds, for the first few days.
Sugary water – on arrival a drink of sugary water will help the chicks along.
Probiotic – in the water for the first 3 days helps the birds.
Cider Vinegar – in the water there after helps the birds along.
Time – checking the birds regularly is vital, as they will quickly tell you if there is something wrong.  Be able to do so in a way that will not distract the birds.  They need the chance to settle into there new home. 
Taking Action  - quickly to rectify any problems is vitally important.  

Best of luck to anyone rearing turkey’s, that includes us.  They are a beautiful animal and an excellent income generator for farmers wishing to sell direct in their local area.  Turkeys can be a risky enterprise but with risk comes reward.  Only 25 shopping weeks to Christmas!

Friday, 16 May 2014

What made this happen?

Last Friday night we were lucky enough to win The Zurick Irish Independent Rising Star Farmer of The Year for 2014.  We are over the moon and a bit blown away by the response from everyone. Now that the dust has settled, I am trying to get my head around what the award means and what it took to get to this point. 

The award is recognition of all the support we have received from people over the past 7 years.  The nature of our farm is that we sell direct to the customer.  Therefore every week we need households, chefs and retailers to trust in us by buying our chickens.

We started from a small base (75 chicks) and needed faith from all our suppliers to bear with us as we got the business up and going.  We have a great relationship with all our suppliers, something that will help us grow into the future.

We had no marketing budget; we needed storytellers to spread the word on what we do.  Storytellers in national & local papers, radio presenters, TV presenters, bloggers, retweeters, likers, friends, neighbours and 2nd cousins once removed all helped us spread the word of how we farm.

We have engaged with numerous state agencies along the way.  All have been helpful, be it through guidance, advice, mentoring and financial assistance.  I keep looking for this famous 'red tape' but as of yet I have not found any.

We are lucky enough to now have people working with us, this has probably been the most positive thing to happen in the past 7 years.  It is only through their enthusiasm and goodwill that the farm will grow further.

Lastly, our family, we went through a steep learning curve at the beginning and no doubt they thought I was daft, but at no stage they did they shot stop.  Instead everybody dug in and we solved whatever problems arose.

To everyone that has in any way supported us, a big thank you and hopefully we can continue to grow from here and make the very most of a small farm in the West of Ireland.

Ronan & Maria Byrne.

The Friendly Farmers

Friday, 7 February 2014

Poultry in Motion

David Llewellyn" 48m Box of fresh chilled chickens from  just delivered to door. "
Here's what an over night delivery of our Pasture Reared Chicken  to you door will look like.
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Bought by David Llewellyn who produces amazing apples & fruit in Lusk Co. Dublin Llewellyns Orchard
Thanks David!

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