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2013 Summer Visit to William Fleck’s farm, Broughshane

Event Details

  • Date: 20 Aug 2013
  • Venue: 22 Aghnadore Road, Broughshane, Co Antrim, BT42 4QB

A large crowd from a wide area visited ther farm and were most impressed with the performance from grass wghich the Flecks are obtaining.

William Fleck and his father Robert manage a herd of 25 suckler cows and 300 breeding ewes as well as a 29,000 bird broiler unit. A new high welfare broiler house is in the process of erection.

The sheep flock comprises approximately 200 Texel mules and 100 mule ewes. A Romney ram is used on the Texel mules and a Texel ram is used on the mule ewes with replacements purchased in. All lambs are finished off grass. The suckler cows are AA x Limousin and crossed with a stabiliser bull. Male calves are sold as stores at 9-12 months and heifers are sold as replacements to other suckler producers. However, William is considering keeping the bull calves entire and finishing on the farm. The calving Index is 353 days and calving is 100% within May and June.

The farm is benchmarked and in almost all categories of performance measured, their flock and suckler herd exceed the top 25% benchmarking figures for Northern Ireland. A case in point is the kilos of liveweight gain achieved per hectare form the suckler enterprise. At 725 kilos, it exceeds the performance being achieved by the top 25% of recorded producers by a notable 307 kilos.


Benchmarking performance 2012/13

         Sucklers – Store        

  Own   Herd Top 25% NI Benchmarking
Output/cow   £ 769 765
Variable   costs/cow £ 239 224
Gross   Margin /cow £ 531 541
Steers   LWG kg/day 0.96 1.18
Heifers   LWG kg/day 0.93 1.02
Conc   fed/cow kg 326 280
Kg   LWG/ha 732 425


Own   flock Top   25%
Output   £/ewe 104 107
Lambs   sold/ewe 1.50 1.55
Variable   costs/ewe £ 40 39
Gross   margin/ewe £ 63 68
Conc   fed/ewe kg 41 48
Kg   carcase sold/ha 427 319

Grassland management is excellent with rotational grazing of the suckler herd and the sheep. A small amount of broiler litter is used along with about 100 units per acre of Nitrogen. Regular soil analysis is carried out. Approximately 10% of the farm is reseeded every year. Optimal use is also made of clover and minimal cultivation techniques are used to establish it and visiting farmers will be able to see at first-hand how successful this has been on the farm. Most of the farm is double-fenced with dry stone walls, which are characteristic of the area. Support from the Countryside Management Scheme helped in restoring the walls and hedges.

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