CROCKATAGGART Farms, based in Moneyneany, is run by brothers Eoin and Jonathan Kelly.
The farm comprises of Hill North Country Cheviot ewes with 150 bred pure producing replacement females to enter the 300 strong commercial flock of Cheviots for crossing to the Bluefaced Leicester to produce the highly sought-after Cheviot Mule.
Eoin says the Cheviot Mule ewe produces top quality prime lambs when crossed with any terminal sire. Crossing with a Suffolk also produces a very marketable female that will catch the eye in any sale ring and performs exceptionally well on a grass-based system.
Eoin and Jonathan were introduced to North Country Cheviots while working in GB on large scale beef and sheep farms where they saw the commercial benefits of the Cheviot over other hill breeds. The ewes are kind mothers, easy to handle at lambing time, with little lambing problems and producing larger crops of lambs than other hill breeds, which increases the profitability of the farm enterprises.
This is why the North Country Cheviot is continuing to grow in popularity in both the UK and Ireland, with their versatility and longevity another major selling point.
Along with Northies, the Kellys run a Blackie flock, breeding their own replacements and traditional scotch mules for their own sale held annually. They also run a suckler cow enterprise with 30 hardy hill cows crossed to a Limousin bull producing quality calves sold as weanlings.
The 3rd Annual North Country Cheviot Club sale will be held on Friday, August 27, at a new venue, Beattie’s Pedigree Livestock Centre, Omagh. There will be a wide range of stock available at this sale, including registered pedigree park and hill type males and females along with first cross NC Cheviot ewe lambs and gimmers.
With a strong entry of over 400 sheep entered for this sale from Northern Ireland’s top registered flocks, it really is an opportunity not to be missed for anyone wanting to get into this increasingly popular breed.