John is the complete all-rounder

50 July 28 1970 John SM Farm

Kilwaughter small-holder John Murphy, of Lealies, near Larne, might be aptly described as a complete all-rounder.

Employed as a welder in a large engineering concern, John finds his trade of tremendous value in the building up of his breed herd of sows, one of his spare time occupations.

Starting off many years ago with only one sow, he has now 27, together with over 100 fatteners.

When he took over the farm at Lealies, John, who was brought up in the neighbouring district of Killyglen, had first to convert byres, deep-litter houses and a potato shed to rearing and fattening pens.

With only limited space he had to utilise every inch available to accommodate his growing numbers.

First he organised a workshop and built a welding plant with which he fashioned cubicles, stalls, farrowing crates, feeding hoppers and troughs.

The sows which have small pigs are housed in pens with heated compartments.

When the piglets are weaned at six to seven weeks the sows are transferred to stalls. They are put outside into a paddock during the daytime and a boar is allowed to run with them.

After service the sows are tied in the cubicles where they remain until a few days before farrowing. They are then taken to the specially designed crates and stay there until the small pigs are several days old.

When the pigs are weaned they are put into fattening pens or, if they are full, the surplus is disposed off at the local Ballyclare pig sales.

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