UK poultry business expansion continues

Expansion continues apace for poultry businesses in the UK, with both egg and broiler units investing in larger sheds and upgraded equipment.

One such business, south-west Scotland-based Chalmerston Farm Eggs, has invested more than £1m in a new free-range unit, taking bird places from 20,000 to 52,000.

The Ayrshire farm is owned and managed by husband and wife Billy and Irene Robb, with son Alan also taking an active role in the farm.

See also: A guide to grants available for poultry farm expansion

Billy Robb said: “We are an ambitious business and have a clear view on where we expect the business to be in the coming years.” The expansion will see turnover at the farm double, to about £1.2m a year.

It was financed by HSBC, which said it had a “strong appetite” for helping similar businesses.

Broiler growth

In Telford, Shropshire, a broiler farm has also announced successful expansion plans.

Nick Gwynne, of Charlton Farm, Walcott, has recently completed the construction of its sixth poultry shed. It was fitted out with equipment supplied by Hydor.

The new shed takes the bird population from 154,000 to 195,000 at capacity.

Mr Gwynne said: “We wanted to expand our poultry production and the time was right. I had heard of plans for a new housing estate just down the road, so I decided I would do it now to avoid any future complications with planning permission.”

Ventilation is based on side inlet and roof outlet. “I always overdo it with the number of roof fans,” said Mr Gwynne. There are also four tunnel fans at the end of the shed, which help to keep the birds cool in extreme conditions.