Mochrum

Mochrum is one of the oldest and most famous herds. The herd is based at Mochrum Estate which includes the 15th century Castle, Old Place of Mochrum and is 8 miles from Newton Stewart, South West Scotland. It is owned by Mr David Bertie, cousin of the late Miss Flora Stuart, who was famous world wide, not only as President of the Belted Cattle Society, but as custodian of the breed in the UK.

Mochrum Estate currently farms the May Farm and Drumwalt, with the remainder of the farms let out. The May and Drumwalt has a combined 840 acres, the land is mixed with moorland, permanent pasture and good cropable fields and sits at 350ft above sea level with an annual rainfall of about 48 inches.

No one alive can fully recount the story of the foundation herd, the herd predates the Belted Galloway Herd Book, but it is reckoned that the herd was established between 1890 and the early 1900s. The earliest records don’t record details of stock other than heifer or bull. But the first detailed entries of cattle bought in came from the late George Sproat, Boreland. At present there are approximately 75 pure Belted cows, 20 bulling heifers and 15 yearlings, but it the intention to increase the herd size, focusing on quality not just quantity. By retaining more females and using Embryo Transfer, the herd is hoping to have in excess of one hundred breeding females. Females are seldom bought, the last being in 2011 from John Boxall’s Kinrea herd. All the cattle are out wintered and the home grown silage is fed throughout the winter.

Offspring are predominantly sold for breeding, the very best bulls are brought out for pedigree breeding, however, a number of young bulls are sold to the dairy industry. A few select heifers are sold at the National Sale in Castle Douglas. In the 2015 sale, Mochrum Caroline sold for 3200gns, The herd is aiming to sell further afield in Carlisle and Worcester in the coming years.

Miss Flora was a staunch supporter of all the local and national shows, as a result Mochrum has enjoyed many show successes through the years. In 2013 previous herd manager the late John McTurk and Mochrum Lilac 3rd took eight championships including the Royal Highland and Great Yorkshire Shows. The castle and surrounding area are hosts to organised shoots and is becoming a popular venue for weddings.

Also at Mochrum there is a flock of 400 commercial sheep, a mixture of Scottish Blackfaces and Mule crosses, the ewes are lambed in the spring and the lambs sold prime over the Autumn and Winter months.