The Kilkenny brothers who branched out from beef and tillage to establish a thriving feed and bedding business
Two Kilkenny brothers farming on the edge of the Marble City are proof that there is more than one way to make a living from the land.
Brian and Derek McGrath live and farm at Foulkstown just outside Kilkenny City on the old Waterford Road.
Until a few years ago, they ran a beef and tillage operation but since setting up Foulkstown Feeds they make most of their livelihood from processing feed such as hay and silage along with bedding made from traditional straw, rapeseed stems and miscanthus.
In a giant workshop and store they shred, bag, de-dust and pack fodder and bedding for the equine, poultry and livestock sectors.
The fodder and bedding are packaged in everything from half-ton square bales to individual bags similar in size to a traditional small square bale or the standard bale of moss peat.
"We started in 2007 doing big square bales of haylage and while many of the stud farms were interested in this we found a variety of costumers and merchants wanted the stuff in different quantities, shapes and sizes.
Those with a horse or two want the fodder or the bedding in smaller more manageable packages whereas the bigger places took the stuff in artic truckloads," Brian explains.
Displaying the bags of hay and haylage, he says: "We shred it and extract the dust out of it and in these portions it is very handy for the person with one or two animals.