Devon Alpaca Farm Expands Into Chicken House Manufacturing

An alpaca farm in East Devon has secured funding to expand the chicken house manufacturing arm of its business.
Ashdale Alpacas, based near Axminster, has secured a loan to invest in new equipment to increase the manufacturing of chicken houses four-fold with the assistance of Rural Focus.

The business is run by Simon and Irene McDonald and diversified into the manufacture and sale of chicken houses when they highlighted a gap in the market locally when they purchased their own houses.
The company sought the funding to find a mechanised way of making the chicken houses to keep up with demand.
Rural Focus assisted the couple to secure a loan from the Fredericks Foundation.
Simon McDonald said: "With the electric tools we purchased with the Fredericks Foundation business loan, our production rate can increase four-fold so chicken houses will be a big area of growth for us in 2013.
Rural Focus adviser Graham Woolcock added: "It was clear from the outset that that Ashdale Alpacas had business growth potential, but with such a small acreage Simon and Irene really needed to make the most of what they had and focus on the areas of the business that they could really maximise profit in.
"After further investigation by myself and my colleague Ian Edmondson who is a specialist in financial business advice, the Fredericks Foundation seemed like a good option. I am delighted that they have managed to secure the loan.
"At the minute I still work part time as an accountant, but with the steady income we anticipate I hope to make the farm my full time job.”
The McDonalds have been running Ashdale Alpacas since 2008 breeding and selling alpacas and knitted items made of their fleece.

To learn more about Ashedale Alpacas, please visit their website at: http://www.ashdalealpacas.com/.