COLM McHenry runs 180 Wicklow Cheviot ewes crossed with a Suffolk ram to produce top quality Suffolk Cheviot ewe lambs. His ewes are put to the Suffolk rams on his farm at Drumahitt, Ballycastle, located in the picturesque Glenshesk, one of the Glens of Antrim.
The ewes are housed at the end of January for six weeks before lambing. Colm pays careful attention to the ewes’ nutrition so that the ewes lamb easily and lambs suck quickly.
He commences lambing early March, averaging 1.7 lambs per ewe with his top drawer of ram lambs killed through the Ballyvoy Group at the end of June.
All lambs are weaned mid-July and ewe lambs are separated off, kept on and marketed at the Ballyvoy ewe lamb sale, where in September 2019 he sold top pens averaging £135 per pen.
Colm said: “All my Suffolk sired lambs go on to produce excellent carcase and body with a high level of vigour, which drives profitability for the commercial farmer.”
Colm purchases his Suffolk ram lambs at branch sales, looking for rams with good conformation, tight skin, length and lift, clean head and legs.
With the upcoming Suffolk Premier Sale in Ballymena Mart on July 28, Colm hopes to source a top Suffolk ram for the tupping season ahead.
n The Suffolk Sheep Society Northern Ireland Branch will hold its Premier Export Sale on Tuesday, July 28, in Ballymena Livestock Market. Sale 2pm. Catalogues available to view online www.suffolksheep.org or from Branch Secretary Orla Butler on 07841 117252.