Peter McKenna was born and bred in Co. Monaghan in the heartland of traditional Irish chicken farming country. He continues to live there in Scotstown with his wife Pauline and their 2 girls Rachel and Lauren on their 50-acre farm.
Peter has been involved in farming since 1987 and was reared on a dairy farm. He now farms 15 suckler cows and some dry cattle totalling 35 heads altogether. His first start in poultry was growing turkeys but started with chickens in 2007 to get some consistency. He has been supplying Manor Farm since then.
Peter is proud of the quality of his farm and the extra dimension that Manor Farm brings to the infrastructure of the farm. The guidelines laid down by the company are very rigorous and are constantly supervised daily by Peter himself and also by regular visits from the Manor Farm Farms Advisor who also continually checks on the welfare of the birds. The feed diet that the birds eat comes from the Manor Farm Chicken only Feed Mill and this feed constituent changes depending on the age of the birds.
A typical day starts at 7 or earlier in the morning when Peter has a light breakfast then walks among the chickens to check that they all are OK and feeding well. He checks on the ventilation systems, makes sure that the temperature and humidity is at the optimum for the age of the birds and also ensures that there is adequate feed in the silos as well as checking that the bedding is OK. Everything is then recorded and charted. This is repeated a number of times during the day. He will have a break at 11 am with a sandwich at 2 pm. At 5.30 pm Peter goes for a 1 to 2 hour run and home for his dinner. He watches the main news and reads the paper before a final check on the chickens with "lights out" at 11.30 pm.
The Bord Bia and Department of Agriculture required paperwork is also filled out daily. Because of the nature of looking after chickens this is a job that runs 24 hours a day and 7 days a week which makes it difficult to take a break without huge support. It is also for this reason that makes Chicken Farming well suited to families. These families in turn pass on their skill, knowledge and experience to their future generations.
Outside of farming Peter enjoys running which he started when he was 8 years old with his club Glaslough Harriers. He ran his first marathon in 1996 and has done every year since. He enjoys a lot of other sports too especially soccer, his favourite team is Liverpool
Peter as with all our chicken Farmers also loves to eat chicken and among his favourite chicken dishes he has:
Chicken pasta primavera
Chicken wrapped in bacon