Borders farm hoping for no beefing about chicken shed bid

A Borders beef farmer wants to stop putting all his eggs in one basket by diversifying into poultry production.

By Paul Kelly
Friday, 24th April 2020, 7:39 am
Falsidehill Farm, north of Kelso.
Falsidehill Farm, north of Kelso.

Stuart Ramsey has submitted a planning application to put up four chicken sheds capable of housing more than 37,000 birds at Falsidehill Hill Farm, north of Kelso.

Currently, his 675-acre farm is all given over to pasture for breeding and rearing beef cattle, an enterprise centred on a herd of 350 suckler cows.

Now, though, he proposes to diversify his agricultural business by adding a poultry farm for fertile egg production, in addition to store rooms, egg-packing facilities and a loading bay.

The total floorspace that development would take up would be almost 7,000sq m.

Mr Ramsey’s agent, East Yorkshire-based specialist agricultural and rural planning consultant Ian Pick, said: “The proposed buildings are purpose-built poultry units.

“The use of the site will be for the housing of laying hens and cockerels, producing fertile eggs for hatching.

“The site will accommodate 37,060 birds in total, with 9,265 birds per building.

“Birds will be delivered to the site as point-of-lay pullets at around 17 weeks of age.

“The length of the flock is around 48 weeks, following which the birds are removed and the buildings are empty for around four weeks for cleaning and preparation for the next batch of birds.

“Each poultry building is of steel portal frame construction, with the walls being preformed concrete to 450mm with polyester-coated profile sheeting above for the walls and roof in olive green.

“The proposed buildings will be fitted with high-velocity, ridge-mounted ventilation fans and side inlet vents.

“Internal equipment includes chain-feeders and nipple-drinkers.

“Egg collection and packing will be undertaken on the farm every day. At the end of each flock cycle, the poultry manure is removed from the buildings and loaded into trailers, which are then sheeted and the manure removed from the site for disposal.”