FarmIreland Insta Takeover: Why this farmer is producing free-range eggs in a growing market
Kylie Magner from Magners Farm in Fethard, Co Tipperary, home to 450 free range pasture-fed hens, will be taking over the FarmIreland Instagram account today and talking about how she started off in the poultry business with little or no knowledge.
Just ten minutes north of Fethard town, Magners Farm is thriving, and already has plans of expanding to double in size just 12 months into the business. Kylie started laying hens last year, making a business that could work around school runs was the aim and has proved successful since.
“There are definitely benefits of being your own boss. I can bring the kids to school and leave the farm work until after, or if I need to be anywhere I can,” Kylie explained.
Although Kylie is the main worker on the farm, she said that it is truly a family run business and couldn’t be done without everyone involved. All four children help out on the farm, Matilda (17), Tadhg (14), Imogen (12) and Finn (10), collecting eggs and preparing them for the market.
Currently, the Magner farm produces 140 dozen eggs a week, selling at the Cahir market on a weekly basis and supplying the Apple Farm among others. The Magners also produce chicken broth, produced on-site, which took home the Chef’s Choice award at Blas na hÉireann awards this year.
The chickens are primarily pasture fed all year round on the 20-acre farm, with a temporary fence being moved daily for fresh grass for the hens.
“The Department was a great help in sorting the farm out. I openly admitted to them that I didn’t know the requirements for the hens and they were more than happy to help.
“Since then, I’ve made my own nesting boxes and built roosts, mostly from scrap wood so there was very little investment involved.
Working on the advertising side of Coolmore Stud for 18 years before getting into the poultry business gave Kylie the knowledge to promote her niche market products effectively.
“I was quite lucky to be experienced in the advertising side of the business, it has given me confidence in how we choose to promote our produce,” she said.
The Magners plan to double the flock size within the next year, which has been strongly influenced by the growing demand of the free-range produce.
“The demand of our products has really grown organically since starting in that most of customers tell others about our produce and this sees more customers return.
“We’re lucky that we have other outlets to sell our produce. We go to the market in Cahir every Friday and we also sell our eggs through the Apple Farm. Café’s in Dublin are also taking eggs every week, it’s really great.”
“We’ll also be looking to reinvest in infrastructure like automatic waterers, nests that willl be easier to clean, just to make our life easier as well.”
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