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'Worst day of my life' - flu leaves farmers to face financial disaster as flocks are culled

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(Stock picture)

(Stock picture)

(Stock picture)

In the early morning yesterday, a group of farmers gathered to help their neighbours with the killing of their flock.

Their support was both moral and practical. The slaughter of 6,000 birds, a free-range flock 10 years in the development with borrowings still to be repaid, was too much for one family to handle alone.

At 8am, a Department of Agriculture vet came to oversee the process. Five hours later, the last of the carcasses was accounted for and for the first time in 30 years, the yard was silent.