Page 5 - Commercial Suffolks 2019
P. 5

Father and                     County  Antrim  businessmen  and

                                       farmers, James and Nelson Alexander,
        Son Team                       have a clear focus on how they want
                                       their sheep enterprise to develop over
        Choose                         the next few years, and since buying
                                       their first Cheviot mule ewes and us-
                                       ing Suffolk tips from the start in 2014,
        Suffolk                        they have developed a very success-
                                       ful enterprise.
        Rams                           With  a  commercial  flock  of  550  Cheviot  mule

                                       ewes and 200 North Country Cheviot ewes along
        Every                          with 30 Pedigree Suffolk ewes (Jalex Flock), they
                                       also run just over 800 heifers which are sourced
                                       as  maidens  and  sold  in  calf.  With  1000  acres,
                                       all in grass including 250 conacre, they employ
        Time                           two full time men on the farm, Tony McCann and
                                       Liam Campbell.  Thay also have a dedicated
                                       shepherd, Martin Millar who joined the team in
                                       2016. James said that “Martin is a great addition
                                       to the team, we are now able to carry out more
                                       fine tuning around our lambing and feeding pro-
                                       cesses and all presentation work for the sales is
                                       done by him.”
                                       Originally running a herd of commercial cows
                                       alongside  the  tractor  and  machinery  sales  op-
                                       eration, James decided that moving to a sheep
                                       enterprise  would  fit  better  with  his  other  busi-
                                       nesses  and  purchased  his  first  Cheviot  Mule
                                       ewes in the Autumn of 2014 when he sold his
                                       herd of commercial cows. A strong family man,
                                       James  also  wanted  something  that  would  be
          JALEX Shepherd Martin Millar  more family friendly for his 5 young children to
                                       become involved in and enjoy.
                                       When setting up his flock James said “We re-
                                       searched  hard  to  think  of  what  breed  to  intro-
                                       duce as we wanted to produce something more
                                       than a fat lamb. Our flock needed to be either
                                       self-replacing  or  produce  a  female  suitable  for
                                       replacements for other flocks. The Cheviot Mule
                                       was selected, I loved the look of the ewes, tight,
                                       bare skins, bright eyes and full of character. Be-
                                       ing by the Blue Leicester  they should be, and
                                       have proven themselves to be, both birthy and

                                               Commercial SUFFOLKS – AUTUMN 2019  3
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