We run a closed herd of around 50 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 numbers proving their lineage. (They also have their "pet" names!) 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 predominately black animals, a few reds and a small group of duns, a colour we particularly like. One of these was our oldest cow, Moonshine Countess who sadly we lost last year at 18 years old. She had a 100% calving record and reared 16 calves. 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. This includes Finwood Nutmeg, a dun like her mother, who is one of our best cows with very good conformation and udder. She is the mother of our dun stock bull who seems to have inherited the good points of both his sire and his dam. He is registered as Finwood Mac Dara ( Celtic for Son of Oak) as a reminder of the ancient oak tree which is a favourite place of shelter for our cattle in summer. We dont 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, with that feisty character so typical of the breed 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.