Located in Butlersbank, Shropshire, Heal Farms is a family-run farm, overseen by husband and wife team Tony and Helen Heal.
The farm has been trading for more than 60 years and operates with a staff of between 25 and 55, depending upon the trading seasons.
Keen to keep the farm at the forefront of the industry a project has recently been implemented to provide Heal Farms with a brand new poultry rearing shed. The new unit replaces an existing facility which has been in operation at the farm since the farm first opened, and made its official debut at the beginning of December 2014.
Speaking to Premier Construction, Heal Farm Partner, Tony Heal, said:
“We’re a family farm, which was started by my father in 1952, before I came on board in 1986 after leaving college. We operate 4,500 acres, with 200,000 free-range chickens for egg production and 122,000 chickens for colony egg production and we also grow around 20,000 tonnes of potatoes a year for companies including Walkers and McCain.
“This new poultry rearing unit, which we have built at the farm, replaces a building that was no longer fit for purpose. The shed is the first of its type in the country – a multi-tier rearing unit designed specifically for multi-tier birds – and will rear 64,000 birds across two sheds, approximately four times a year.”
Work began on the project on the 4th August 2014. Turkingtons was the main contractor on the construction of the shed, Knights Construction was responsible for groundworks and Newquip Ltd was responsible for the installation of internal equipment. P.S Higgins was responsible for the electrical works.
“Work ran as planned on this project and everyone worked very well together, hitting targets along the way. In fact we completed the scheme ahead of schedule.”
The installation of the new shed has been extremely important for Heal Farm.
“This rearing system creates a seamless transfer for when we move chickens into the laying units. The birds will be trained to roost at night, will know where feeders and drinkers are and will become less stressed as a result.
“Using this new facility we can stimulate the birds into laying a little bit earlier, which will smooth our operation and reduce costs along the way.”
Moving forward, Heal Farm currently has the capacity for an additional shed, should the need arise for the farm to replicate this system further. However, for now, Tony is keen to allow the correct amount of time to see how well the new shed performs.
PS Higgins Electrical Services
PS Higgins Electrical Services specialise in poultry units and install equipment for poultry sheds including lighting, feeding and ventilation. The firm work all over the UK installing all types of units such as broiler, free range and enriched. A lot of their poultry customers are interested in the company’s specialist range of LED lighting. The firm was established in 1998 and currently employ approximately 30 staff.
As well as poultry units PS Higgins have a lot of agricultural clients for whom they provide an excellent maintenance and repair service, as well as planned installations such as lighting and heating systems.
The firm offer commercial and industrial customers a nationwide service including a variety of jobs from a roller shutter door supply, to a full factory installation. Most recently the firm have completed a two year project for Stan Robinson Group which included the installation of LED hi-bay fittings throughout their warehouse facility. The firm are now looking at a BMS system to comply with the new ESOS regulations.
The firm work on an array of domestic projects fitting extra sockets, new lights, as well as supplying and installing CCTV and solar PV. The firm also offer a 24 hour callout service.
Paul Higgins commented:
“Our involvement with Tony Heal’s project was to supply and install all of the cabling, containment and switchgear for the poultry equipment. We also supplied and installed all of the sub-mains and switchgear along with general power and lighting throughout. This system is the first of its kind within the UK and it was very important to us to be involved.”