Clive and Joel Richardson farm in Annaghmore on the outskirts of Portadown, County Armagh.
In addition to their acclaimed dairy herd and suckler enterprise, the duo also incorporate a 180-ewe flock into their farm business.
With a highly successful business tying up much of their time away from the farm, it is vital to the Richardsons that they source the very best livestock to work with which, in turn, adds to the overall profitability of the farm.
When it comes to the sheep flock their tried and tested formula in terms of their breeding regime is to select gimmers at the annual on-farm sale staged by James Alexander.
These are then served to Suffolk tips also sourced from the same venue.
They say: “The beauty of buying at this sale is that the gimmers are literally ready to go to the ram with no additional management required.”
“All stock are dosed, dipped and Enxo and Toxo vaccinated.”
Lambing kicks off mid-February with all ewes lambed indoors, and outfits put out to grass as soon as possible.
The Cheviot mules cross particularly well with the Jalex Suffolk rams and have proved to be extremely milky.
They are notching up a lambing percentage of 210% on a grass-based management system.
Joel pays particular attention to good grassland management and the ewes and lambs perform well without concentrates.
Post-weaning, the ewe and ram lambs are split, with creep feed being introduced to the ram lambs.
These are then marketed at the point of finishing through the live ring or direct for slaughter at weights of 48 kilos.
The majority of rams sold through the factory are killing out U grades. Ewe lambs from the flock are grass fed only, with a number retained each season for replacements.
These are super ewe makers, and a number are also sold to local farmers as breeding stock.
Annual gimmer sale
The fifth annual Jalex Gimmer Sale takes place on-farm at 88 Gloverstown Road, Randalstown on Saturday, July 29th at 12 noon.
This is the biggest selection to date from the Alexander family with over 1250 head set to go under the hammer in lots to suit every purchaser.
Buyers will be able to select from 400 Suffolk x Cheviot Mules, 200 Suffolk x Cheviots, 60 Suffolk x Scotch Half breds, 30 Suffolk x Scotch Mules, 10 Suff Tex, 400 Cheviot Mules, 60 Scotch half breds, 80 Texel x and 15 Texel.
The sale will be on MartEye in addition to live ringside bidding. Everyone is welcome on the day.
For pre-sale enquiries, contact James Alexander 07816775501 or James Little 07872840685
Full details on www.jalexlivestock.com and MartEye.