Over the last ten years, Ashley Hill Ltd. has earned an unrivalled reputation as one of the premier poultry house manufacturers in counties Monaghan and Cavan, providing a comprehensive one-stop-shop solution from design stage through to installation. We visited the eponymous founder / proprietor at his Castleblayney base to find out more about this market-leading family-run operation and the full range of services offered to the local farming community.
Renowned for delivering outstanding structural and steelwork, Ashley Hill Ltd. has firmly established itself as one of the leading manufacturers of agricultural buildings in the north east. The company – managed by Ashley Hill alongside his wife Sandra, who looks after the accounts – also has a proven track record for manufacturing high-quality commercial buildings.
From their manufacturing facility at Killycracken Castleblayney, County Monaghan, the trusty team of fabricators and engineers at Ashley Hill Ltd. have the capacity, wherewithal, experience and knowhow to provide farmers with all types of farm buildings, be it for storage or animal accommodation.
Down through the years, Ashley has developed a particularly strong reputation as the region’s No.1 poultry house manufacturer of choice, designing, manufacturing and installing units for all the main producers in an area widely recognised as being the epicentre of Ireland’s thriving poultry industry.
As in every sector of agriculture, margins are tight in poultry and producers insist on quality and value for money in everything they do. The fact that so many of them are prepared to bring repeat business to Ashley Hill Ltd. speaks for itself.
Reflecting on the genesis of the business, the Monaghan man notes: “I’ve been in business for 20 years now. I started out making gates and railings first of all and then progressed into slatted houses for cattle. I started manufacturing poultry houses when grants for agricultural buildings ended in 2008.”
Today, Ashley Hill’s steel frame poultry houses can be spotted all over counties Cavan and Monaghan, with on average six being installed on poultry farms in the neighbouring counties per year.
At the time of writing, Ashley was engaged on a large 40,000-bird unit for a client in Bailieborough, which was scheduled for completion in early September. In keeping with the company’s ethos of unrivalled service levels, projects are invariably delivered to precise specifications on time and within budget.
“They’re always erected to the farmer’s exact spec,” Ashley confirms. “As well as poultry units, we also do all other types of farm jobs including sheds and any other structural steel work. All the steelwork is made up at home and we then transport it to the site and install it.”
Ashley is very much a hands-on proprietor and he takes a personal interest in each project, overseeing every job from start to finish. Quality is at the forefront of day-to-day activities and a highly-skilled team consistently offers outstanding workmanship on every building.
“We have five fabricators here at the moment and they play a major role in our success,” says Ashley. “When you leave a good job behind you, then there’s a strong possibility that you’ll get more work.
“We’ve never had to advertise. All of our work comes from word of mouth and that’s down to providing a good standard of finish. Every job is well done and finished on time. That’s what farmers expect and we make sure they are happy with the product and the service.
“There are a lot of deadlines in poultry and you can’t be taking liberties or letting people down. At the end of the day, it all boils down to doing a good job and that’s what we focus on. We also use very good materials in our buildings and this results in a quality unit that will last and give the customer value for money.”
By offering bespoke, turnkey solutions and an all-in service, Ashley Hill Ltd. makes life as simple as possible for the farmer, who doesn’t need to deal with anybody else. All aspects of the new building are handled in-house in a professional and fully coordinated manner.
“We do the complete unit – walls, steelwork, cladding and insulation. The whole thing is taken care of from start to finish and there’s no need to get anybody else involved,” says Ashley. Are farmers generally more concerned with price or quality? “They want value for money obviously but quality is a big factor and you really have to deliver in terms of the quality of the building, the materials and the workmanship.”
This applies equally to poultry houses, cattle sheds or any other agri (or commercial) building undertaken.
The fact that he hails from a farming background himself gives Ashley an understanding of the pressures that farmers deal with and leaves him in a good position to empathise with them and deliver solutions that will dovetail with their needs.
“I worked away after leaving school and then came home to the farm,” he recalls. “We were in pigs at the time and prices were very bad in ’98, which was when I started to make the rails and gates, and I built the business up from there.”
Since he built his first poultry unit, the business has gone from strength to strength. A full order book for the remainder of the calendar year reflects the high esteem in which Ashley Hill Ltd. is held…
“We’d be well enough known in this part of country anyway,” he concludes. “The demand for poultry houses seems to be steady all year around, which is good. There are a lot of new people coming in to do free range eggs and between that and the broilers and the free range broilers, there are plenty of new units needed.
“We can manufacture the specific unit that each particular enterprise needs. For example, the free range unit will have pop holes so that the birds can go outside during the day. Everything is designed and built with animal welfare in mind and you go out of your way to make sure that every unit you build is as good as it possibly can be.”
Ashley Hill Ltd.,
Tel: 042 9749810
Mobile: 086 8035011
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 6 No 6, September/October 2018