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.
Avian flu has struck hard in Co Monaghan which supplies more than two-thirds of the country's eggs and much of its poultry.
Ten farmers have been hit in the last few weeks and half a million birds have been culled.
For the consumer, that means less choice on supermarket shelves with imported UK and Spanish eggs making up the shortfall. For the farmer, it means devastation.
"It was heart-breaking this morning," said the farmer who lost his flock yesterday. "I never went through anything like it in my life before and I hope to never again. It's probably the worst day of my life."
He asked not to be named as there is a fear of stigma or of creating a consumer scare.
H6N1, the strain of avian flu responsible, does not kill birds or pose a threat to humans but it leaves flocks drained with dramatically cut production.
Culling is not mandatory but realistically there is no choice. "You cull so you don't infect the next house along," the farmer said.
As it is not mandatory, there is no compensation from the Department of Agriculture.
Nigel Renaghan, IFA chairman for Ulster/North, said that has to change.
"There needs to be a fund set up with the supermarkets and packers contributing so that we can help farmers in this position," he said.
Environmentalists are concerned about the intensification of poultry farming in the region, warning that concentrating producers, many of industrial scale, is bad planning and results in ammonia emissions that can pollute the air, soil and water.
"And now we see the effect on the farmers themselves," said Tony Lowes of Friends of the Irish Environment. "When you have that number of birds so close together, controlling disease is extremely difficult."
Mr Renaghan said farmers take their responsibilities on this front very seriously. "It's in their own interests. Nobody's slacking on that," he said.
The free-range farmer added: "Flu is spread by wild birds too. There has been nobody inside the door of the hen house bar ourselves and we haven't been anywhere. We've done it by the book."
Mr Renaghan said many producers are now re-thinking staying in poultry.
The free-range farmer said he doesn't yet know what to think. The conversion to free-range in 2010 cost €300,000 and the flock just culled was worth €35,000. "There's bank payments to be made and I don't know where the next cheque is coming from. I only know where the next bill is coming from," he said.
Prices haven't risen in 10 years so there is little incentive but he added: "It's like Bord na Móna in the Midlands. If you take poultry out of north Monaghan, there's nothing left."
The Department of Agriculture said it was "working closely with representatives of the sector and flock owners to discuss a number of measures aimed at controlling the current outbreak".