Broomhouse Farm, Hexham, Northumberland
450ha split between three holdings
120 Primera and 50 Abertex ewes
155 Aberfield cross ewes
150 Abertex cross ewes
220 North of England Mule ewes
150 Texel cross ewes
60 suckler cows, transitioning to Sabiliser and Stabiliser cross and 105 bought in maiden heifers sold with calves at foot. Mid and Higher-Tier Stewardships.
To make our family unit more resiliant to rising input costs by introducing a new breeding policy, reducing purchased feed, fertiliser and other chemical inputs whilst maintaining a profitable output, helping nature and improving the farms’ biodiversity.
Farming background and objectives
Our objective is for profitable and productive self replacing animals able to cope with minimal feed and intervention at birth and perform in a regenerative farming system featuring mob grazing. Fast finishing off forage is a priority for the offspring – both the sheep and cattle enterprises.
We have consequently transitioned to a closed flock with the Abertex meat sire and the maternal Aberfield from breeding Texel and Suffolk tups for sales through our local marts after becoming disillusioned about the excessive condition required for sales, along with bought in traditional North of England Mule ewe lambs. Nowadays all sires are sourced on their EBV traits and health status.
Interesting fact about your farm
As a family we have farmed West Warmley for over 100 years, in 2008 we secured a grazing licence for a 250 acre grass farm and in 2016 we achieved the tenancy of Broomhouse Farm, a National Trust property which carries the Innovis Primeras and Abertex.
When and why did you become an Innovis breeding partner?
We became an Innovis breeding partner in 2021. Innovis also offered us the opportunity to purchase a Primera flock, whilst we also agreed to convert our Texel flock to Abertex. The decision enabled us to run two separate flocks which facilitated their health status, improve recording and vaccinating efficiency and minimise wintering costs.
What do you enjoy most about your role with Innovis?
Farming sheep in a forward thinking manner with the emphasis on ability to perform particularly under pressure, and the option to select sires on traits that we require to improve our flock. We enjoy sharing information between Innovis and other breeding partners which allows a level of informal education.