We run a closed herd of around 35 pedigree Dexter Cattle. With the exception of our foundation cows every animal has been born and reared on the farm. Each animal is registered with the Dexter Cattle Society with pedigrees going back generations. All the females and our bull have their own unique names and the steers which are destined for beef have pedigree papers proving their lineage. Because of this, pedigree beef has total traceability. They are completely free range, living out all year, a lifestyle which suits these hardy little animals. They are entirely grass-fed, supplemented in winter by hay and silage cut from our own fields. As a treat ,and to train them to a bucket they sometimes have a handful of Dengie horse feed which is completely free from cereals or grains. We breed for beef and chose animals for conformation and ease of calving.
Our herd is made up of black, dun and a few red animals. We particularly like duns, partly because our very first cow, Moonshine Countess was a dun. She had a 100% calving record and reared 16 calves, the last when she was over 18 years old. She was one of the two original cows which were the foundation of the Finwood herd and she was dam to many cows who have inherited her stamina and reliability. Over the first fifteen years or so of our herd we only had one or two duns but when we bought in Tooloos Sweet William as our stock bull he began to sire some good dun calves and so our dun herd began to increase in size. We now have eight dun cows in our breeding herd and had six dun calves out of the 10 born so far this year. All have pedigrees going back to the original Woodmagic herd. We have found that without exception our dun cows are quiet to handle, calve easily and have neat udders which makes it easy for newborn calves to suckle. The steers which go for meat have good conformation and weight, fed purely on grass and silage. The black and red cattle in our herd are from the same bloodlines and share similar characteristics . Our stock bulls are now Otterburn Lewis, a dun who is the grandson of one of our cows and Finwood Dara Macdara a homebred black bull , both from Woodmagic bloodlines. With the exception of Otterburn Lewis every animal in our herd is homebred and we run a closed herd. In 2019 we entered the Midland Dexter Herd competition ,only the second time we have done so and we were very pleased to win the shield for Best Group of Steers and to come second in the overall herd catagory.
We do not show our animals but regularly have them Linear Assessed and have been having some pleasing results to prove we are on the right lines.
The fact that our Dexters are all individuals, each with their own personalities, is a bonus which makes it all worthwhile!
We sometimes have animals available for sale, both youngstock for beef or breeding and heifers or cows, usually with calf at foot.