AYTON Farm owners Kathy and Rod O’Connell have called it quits after almost three years of farming meat chickens and pastured eggs.
The duo were farming 100 meat chickens per week and about 300 eggs per day at Rathdowney, selling their produce at markets and top restaurants in Brisbane with the help of exchange students who worked part-time on the property.
Mr O’Connell said he was sad to say goodbye to the retirement project.
“We are very disappointed we couldn’t achieve what we wanted to in the time frame we gave ourselves,” he said.
“It took us a few weeks to reconcile with ourselves and accept it was not financially viable.”
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Mr O’Connell said they were not making enough money to continue the farm as their efforts in marketing their product fell short.
“We are delighted with the taste and quality of the food we have produced and consumed and content in the belief that we have given our animals a natural, happy and stress-free life,” he said.
“However, our knowledge of marketing and our limited ability to communicate the nutritional/health benefits of this type of produce have meant that we have not been able to bring Ayton Farm’s turnover up to a viable level.”
Mr O’Connell said he had no regrets in starting the business and called it an overwhelmingly positive experience.
“There is a famous quote by Albert Einstein that says a person who never made a mistake never tried anything new,” he said.
The O’Connells will continue to live on their Rathdowney farm and would focus on beef production while experimenting with a other projects like bees and organic vegetable growing.
The pair were not the only ones doing it tough last year with two dairy farmers and a beef producer also closing their doors.