The farm: “I work alongside my parents, Mhairi and Martin, and sister Rebecca, here in Co Mayo, where we keep pigs and poultry and run a seaweed business. We have just bought in 14 Hereford heifer calves to rear and I think we are getting another 10 or 12 next week, things are quite busy.”

Pigs: “My mother Mhairi got into working with pigs when she left college about 30 years ago. We run a 220-sow unit in Kiltimagh where we breed Landrace Danish genetics for a replacement unit up in Kildare. Our unit is a farrowing unit, we AI the sows and once they farrow, we keep the piglets for 28 days and when they are weaned they move up to Kildare.”

Poultry: “We keep 70,000 chickens in two different houses, 35,000 in each house. There is more work with the pigs, there is a bit more routine with the chickens because it’s the same with every crop.”

The routine: “Chicks come in at a day old, grow for 32 to 38 days, then they are factory ready. We normally have two to three weeks to clean out, disinfect and get the houses ready for another load to arrive again. The meat goes to Tesco, Aldi, Lidl and Dunnes.”

Seaweed: “A couple of years ago we were looking into reducing antibiotics in the pig unit and that’s how we got into the seaweed business, our company is called Sealac. We use it to feed it into the ration with sows and Dad developed his own electrolyte that we use on the farm and give to bonhams for the first couple of days.”

Seaweed harvest: “The seaweed is harvested along the coast near Connemara. Cutters cut it for us. It’s kind of like bogs, people have the rights to the sea, we normally take in about 20t or 40t at a time. It is dried at a low temperature, which takes between three and five days.”

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