The welfare of livestock and all farm animals is paramount in the agricultural sector and to this end, the products used to house or feeding have to be of the utmost quality.
That is why Etra Feeds is a leader in their field of expertise and we profile the family run business for this month’s edition of Irish Tractor magazine.
With an ever-increasing customer base, the company is certainly going from strength to strength and General Manager Blair McLoughlin has been pleased the businesses growth in the last few years.
“Our customer base is expanding all the time and we are continuously adding new products to our range. We have 22 employed here now and that shows the growth that we have made in the last few years,” said Blair.
A need for their products is continuous as Blair revealed that they were kept busy during the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has gripped most of the world.
“We were fortunate to be able to keep open during that period and to be honest, we were very busy. There are always a need for our products and the agricultural sector was as busy as ever during those few months.”
Etra Feeders Ltd has been a leading manufacturer and supplier of housing and equipment to the pig industry for over 25 years. Based in Benburb, Co. Tyrone, the company provides a wide range of state-of-the-art housing and equipment designed to meet the requirements of the modern pig farm.
Etra Feeders are main distributors for MIK International and Bouwimpex plastic products. MIK International is a leading specialist for high value plastic flooring in pig, calf, sheep and goat husbandry. As the pioneers of plastic panels, the German company can look back on more than 45 years of strong partnerships with success-driven customers. MIK’s innovative products contribute to your efficiency through simple assembly, animal-friendly surfaces and outstanding durability.
Bouwimpex also supplies a range of plastic products specifically designed for building and fitting out modern animal sheds, including divider boards and windows.
“This is an area that we are looking to expand in and provide a wider range of products. We are also looking to breaking into the mainland UK market more and that is something we are actively pursuing at the moment.”
The following is a list of the products available from Etra Feeders:
Polypropylene pig feeders – Etra sells a range of feeders to suit all sizes of pig pens, including wet and dry or dry feeding systems. This is the company’s best-selling product which has been developed with farmers to get it right. Etra can design and build custom feeders.
Housing – using its 80mm-thick insulated bonded panels, which are made from glass reinforced plastic, Etra makes best use of this insulation as it will only be 2mm away from the pig where it is needed. The houses are also less damp as there are no cold blocks for the water to condensate against and the GRP finish allows for easy power washing. The GRP wall is more hygienic, making it easier to keep disease out.
Flooring – Etra are stockists of the MIK plastic slats which can be used in a range of flooring application including farrowing, weaning, sheep and calf pens. The flooring is easily installed and cleaned with the added benefit of being comfortable for the animal.
Penning – Etra supplies PVC dividing wall penning with stainless steel posts. The company can accommodate any design due to the easy tongue and grove boards, and can make a range of doors and walls with these systems.
Farrowing pens – Etra is also a supplier of farrowing equipment with galvanised crates with SS legs to prevent rust and stainless steel troughs, and supplies heat pads that integrate into the MIK Flooring. The heat pads are made from a Polymer concrete which is easily cleaned, hygienic and long lasting.
Drinkers – drinking systems for use in the pig house from a range of different solutions to suit all needs and meets the new standard set out by Northern Ireland’s Farm Quality Insurance Scheme.
Feeders – Etra manufactures a range of polypropylene feeders for the pork industry in Wet and Dry variants. The design of feeder has stood the test of time with some of our original feeders still in use today with strong design, high feed conversion ratio and easily maintained and cleaned.
The company has built up a loyal customer-base over the years, which includes some of the largest pig producers in the country. One of its customers is JMW Farms which runs piggery units in Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Britain.
Founded by Samuel McLoughlin in 1991, Etra Feeders is a family-run business which also involves his wife Janette and son Blair. From humbling beginnings. The company specialises in working with pig farms across Ireland and the UK on refurbishment, new build and maintenance projects, and provides bespoke solutions to meet each client’s specific needs.
“My father had worked in the engineering sector before starting his own business on the family farm. He started making plastic feeders for pigs and the business grew from there. In 2001, he built a new manufacturing facility which tripled our floorspace and allowed us to greatly increase output,” Blair McLoughlin explains.
“We design, manufacture, supply and install an extensive range of products, ranging from housing, dividing boards and floors to pens, feeders and drinkers. We supply housing and dividing boards locally and feeders right across Ireland and to parts of the UK also. We’re trying to get ourselves more established in the UK and would also have ambitions to break into the European market.
“We guarantee a quality, innovative, value-for-money product as well as a prompt, professional and friendly service.”
Blair stressed that one of the keys to the success of the business was their eagerness to come up with new products for the market.
“We’re constantly coming up with new products and investing in our facilities, which is essential to do in order to stay ahead of our competitors.”
Blair concluded by thanking the support of their loyal customers over the past 29 years.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their continued support and look forward to working for and with them for many more years to come.”
Etra Feeders Ltd
101 Milltown Road,
Telephone: 028 3754 8419
Mobile: 07802 295019
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 8 No 4, December 2020