Farmer Roy takes top prize at awards

Roy and Joan Cunningham and grandchildren Grace and Abbie Forde with their Farming Life Poultry award. INPT45-109gc
Roy and Joan Cunningham and grandchildren Grace and Abbie Forde with their Farming Life Poultry award. INPT45-109gc

A Portadown farmer is celebrating after he was declared Poultry Farmer of the Year at the recent Farming Life and Danske Bank Awards.

Roy Cunningham was presented with his award during a glittering ceremony at the Ramada Hotel in Shaw’s Bridge recently.

In 2003 Roy built his first steel frame broiler house for Moypark. After eight years as a successful broiler producer Roy wished to expand his operation by building a second house.

Due to planning limitations, he was restricted to fewer than 40,000 birds, which meant that he could not expand and continue in broilers.

At this stage Roy took the decision to build house number two and become a parent stock rearing farmer for Moypark and in February 2011 Roy placed 26,000 day old breeders 
on this site.

Following a steep learning curve, Roy and his wife Joan successfully made the transition from broiler farm to breeder farm, so much so that in 2012 Roy built on an 80 foot extension to house one, increasing his capacity to 32,000 birds.

Roy is totally committed to his poultry enterprise and has completed his Work Placed Diploma Level 3 in Poultry Husbandry.

He is keen to experiment with ventilation systems and feeding systems to suit his own specific needs and enjoys the exchange of ideas with other farmers as a way to constantly improve the quality of stock he produces.

The body weight and coefficient variations of his birds have consistently improved and Roy is now in the top quartile of the rearing group. In 2013 he won the cup for top breeder rearer in the Moypark rearing group in Northern Ireland.