Conrick Farm has an elevated position on the northern fringe of the picturesque and pretty Dumfriesshire town of Sanquhar in the heart of Scotland. There are excellent views from the farm over the Nith Valley towards the Carsphairn and Scaur range to the west and the Lowther hills to the south east.
The Royal Burgh of Sanquhar is an attractive and popular rural town and provides for most every day needs. It lies on the route of the Southern Upland Way.
The town is a thriving community with many amenities including an indoor swimming pool, gym, library, health centre, pharmacy, two banks, post office, two filling stations and a nine-hole golf course with outstanding views.
Conrick Farm extends to about 248 acres and was purchased by the seller’s family in 1983. The farm has primarily been run as a dairy unit, with a new dairy complex constructed in 2008. The sellers have established and developed a highly productive poultry enterprise, which now forms the major part of the business, producing a high turnover and excellent cash flow, with free range and organic free range layers.
All of the poultry units are fully stocked and staffed by an experienced and dedicated team who hope to remain with the business.
The farm has further assets including a spacious seven-bedroom farmhouse (which was previously occupied as two separate properties), a substantial modern detached house, a range of agricultural buildings for wintering livestock and general purpose storage, good quality pasture suitable for silage, deciduous woodland and a reservoir stocked with trout.
A key feature of the farm is the successful integration of the two enterprises, creating an efficient and productive business.
The land is currently in good heart and it is accessed from the public road and network of private tracks. It lies in a ring-fence and is graded Class 42 by the Macaulay Institute for Soil Research.
The area is renowned for its livestock farming due to the climate, soil and topography. As a result, it is well served by agricultural merchants and suppliers.
Conrick is farmed in-hand as a mixed dairy and poultry enterprise and has a single farm code.
The dairy herd has been expanded over the years and currently stands at around 150 milking cows. It mainly comprises Holstein Friesians, with a small number of Jerseys. Usually three bulls run with the cows including a Holstein Friesian, Aberdeen Angus and Hereford. At present circa 60% of the cows calve in May, June and July, with 20% calving in early spring and the remainder calving in the autumn.
The female Holstein calves are reared as replacement heifers. The Holstein steers are sold at 18 months. About 30 beef steers are sold at 12-14 months, with the remainder sold at up to 8 weeks.
The stock is sold through the local Mart. A separate block of 70 acres supports the young stock.
Milking takes place twice daily (usually taking about 90 minutes) and is supplied under contract to Wiseman Dairies, with a daily collection. The herd currently has an average production of approximately 7,500 litres, with a milk quota for 1.17 million litres (3.76% butterfat).
The poultry business was established in 1988 and for the first ten years focused on breeding hens. The enterprise then changed to free range laying hens with eggs supplied under contract to Noble Foods, with a collection taking place three times per week. Poultry units D & E have organic status.
Hens are brought to the farm at 16 weeks old and leave at 72 weeks old. Poultry unit C has an automatic packer, with the remainder of the houses having manual packers. All of the houses have plastic slats, automatic nest boxes, feeders and drinkers.
Hen manure is spread on the fields, which significantly reduces fertiliser costs and produces good quality swards of grass.
Two cuts of silage are usually taken annually, with the occasional third cut. Straw is usually bought in from central Scotland or locally.
The majority of the machinery work is contracted out. 400 lambs are wintered at Conrick.