News

December 2017

Due to life's circumstances I had to cease my venture in winter 2015. I hope to be back! Please keep on supporting small producers. Thank you for sticking with me for so many years

May 2014

My farmer friend always used to say to me "When there is livestock there is dead stock" and today is a second time in the few years of keeping cattle I had to experience totally unexpected death. I am crying writing this which is silly considering I breed my cattle for beef. However, when a 6 month old calf gets his leg stuck in tree roots, breaks it and has to be put down then I cannot hold my tears. Hope he is happy in cow heaven now.

On a happier note, with all the recent rain the grass is growing well and the rest of the herd are having a high time in the fields. I am still waiting for two calves to be born anytime now! We also have five lovely lambs which we got in March when they were a week old. They lived in our garden for few weeks (handy for 5am bottlefeeding) and now they have just been weaned off milk and joined the cattle and our two pet sheep in a big field. The children loved helping with bottlefeeding but are also excited about home grown leg of lamb in the autumn. Enjoy the the summer good people!

March 2014

Spring is definitely in the air. The birds are singing, daffodils are coming out and generally nature is certainly waking up. The cattle are very patient though, still in the yard, waiting for a taste of first spring grass. I am sure they are as fed up with hay and silage as I am especially if the knew how much it cost! I took two steers to slaughter at the beginning of the month so cannot wait for the beef which as always is all sold out. The demand is most certainly there but I don't think I will increase the herd as the cost of winter feed is so high I am not even breaking even (don't tell my husband!).

I have a TB test for my herd coming up which I am not looking forward to. Poor cattle, they really don't like it too, but rules are rules and once they have it, they are ok for another 4 years. So once that's over, garden gloves on as lots of overdue tidying and planting to do! Enjoy the beautiful spring!

Next lot of beef sometime in the autumn.

January 2014

After unpacking, sorting out fields, house, settling children in new schools, the time has come to bring the cattle to my yard. Something I don't enjoy doing very much as they are perfectly ok and much better off being outside in all weather; however the fields were getting quite wet. So a few days ago after careful planning (it is almost a military operation!), I managed to catch and load all of my cattle and bring them to the barn. They are most likely going to stay there till April. Spring, please come soon!

I have hired an amazing bull to run with Lilly and Berry as their calves are already two months old, so we should have two new babies in the autumn - not forgetting more calves hopefully being born in the spring too. I am taking two steers to slaughter some time in march so not too long to wait for more yummy beef...

October 2013

Well, my herd of Dexters have been travelling again. They really do lead an exciting life. Shortly after my last update we decided we missed Norfolk and our wonderful village so so much we decided to move back! So three children, ponies, dogs, cats, sheep, chickens and not forgetting 16 of my bovine friends have arrived back here in September. What an adventure! Lots of stress and hard work but no regrets. Beautiful Norfolk welcome back!

May 2013

Six months! This has to be a record for not keeping you up to date. It has been the longest, wettest, coldest and most miserable winter I can remember. My heart goes to all the farmers who lost their livestock due to snow and frost. This just proves how hard and unpredictable farming work is at times. Lets hope for a better year!

My dear cattle (I brought all of them back from Norfolk) had to be in a barn from November till April as the grazing I am renting here is very heavy clay and would otherwise have been turned into a mud bath if the cows stayed on it. They had plenty of hay (which cost me a small fortune) and a cozy straw bedding... pretty much a 5* accommodation. Nothing to complain about really.

Lots happened as it always does when animals and children are involved! Lilly did have a bull calf soon after my last update and now my old girls started to calve. Ebony had a heifer (no name yet) and Ellie a red boy. Two more to come and then two more in November as Lilly and Berry were IAed (artificial insemination) back in January. Total number of cattle at the moment - 14! Oh dear... There won't be any beef available until October/November though but keep an eye on updates.

On pig front - we killed two boys back in the autumn and bought two more piglets from a different breeder so that Ellie (the big sow) would have company and future father to her offspring (hopefully). We very much enjoyed eating our free range pork, delicious!

Sadly we lost our beloved pony Midnight about a month ago. She will always be remembered.

But at last the trees are beginning to green, birds are nesting, insects buzzing so come on Mr Sun, spoil us this summer (with a bit of rain for good measure too).

Please remember to keep supporting small producers!

October 2012

Where has the time gone! Well, some of it was spent unpacking endless boxes, sorting out schools for the children ( absolute nightmare) and most importantly getting to know local farmers... you never know when you might need their helping hand.

I decided I just had to carry on producing proper, delicious, healthy beef and spreading the word about farm animal welfare. I managed to find additional grazing so later on this month I am going to bring the rest of the herd from Norfolk.

A little heifer was born at the end of September (missed the birth by 2 minutes!) and we called her Treacle. Still waiting for Lilly to calve.

Soon after we moved, back in April, I decided to get a couple of orphan lambs as the children really enjoyed looking after lambs last year. Well, I came back with four! And few months on... they are certainly staying being so tame and friendly. It is also beneficial to keep sheep and cattle grazing together for parasite control anyway.

Another addition to our ever growing collection are three lovely Oxford Sandy and Black pigs. They have a huge area to root around in an old, very neglected and overgrown orchard-pure paradise. We will soon be tasting our home grown sausages and might have baby piglets born next spring... watch this space!

February 2012

Winter has been kind to us this year possibly too kind as poor birds and plants are getting very confused. Under the roof tiles of our cottage a couple of starlings managed to hatch their first chicks! Good luck to them.

There has been a huge change to our family. We have decided to move to Kent where my husband's work is based. We managed to find a house for rent with few acres so some of the cattle are coming with us, not enough room for all of them though. For the time being, the ones that are staying will be in safe hands of my dear friend Nigel who is a Dexter breeder. I am taking my last steer to abattoir soon and the meat has all sold out so no further orders are being taken. Thank you to everybody who has supported me over the last few years and please continue your support of small, local producers of grass fed cattle, lambs, free range chickens and happy pigs!

Thank you again,

Marta

October 2011

Summer seems to have got carried away this year and only finished few days ago. Cows have been running with a lovely bull in July and August so hopefully they all are in calf now. I am going to take one of my steers to the abattoir soon together with the two lambs. I have mixed emotions about it as the children and I bottle fed them when the lambs lived in our garden and as a consequence Matilda and Julliet ( that's their names!) are rather tame. However we cannot keep them as pets and we like to eat lamb. They did have a very happy life though. This is the tough side of farming, for me anyway. The beef is all sold, next batch April 2012.

July 2011

Middle of July already! Time is flying by so it seems. Just starting to think and plan for winter feeding which is going to be challenging as prices of hay and silage are much higher than last year as a result of a terribly dry April and May. Calves are doing well and growing strong. Unfortunately one of the cows wasn't in calf so we only have three this year. Never mind, that's nature for you. I should be taking the cows with their offspring to run with a bull in a couple of weeks. They will stay there for about six weeks which covers two cycles when they can conceive. Quite a few of you are already asking about next batch of delicious beef which is going to be in a very short supply as I only have two steers to take to abattoir later on this year. So sorry to those of you who are going to miss out, please be patient, the herd is growing slowly!

May 2011

Finally the spring is here however Mother Nature has been very unkind with rainfall! The grass is not growing as well as it should for this time of the year and this will have a big impact on hay and silage making and the price of it. Dexters being very hardy and traditional breed are not complaining and can manage very well on it.

The beef from two steers which were slaughtered on the 28th of Feb and carcasses hung for 29 days sold out right away. Sorry to those who missed out... please be patient, the herd is growing slowly. All the cattle went on grass after very cold winter during first week of March and are doing well.

In April I took Lilly and Berry, my two one-year-old heifers, to the Spring Fling on Norfolk Showground which was a great day and the girls behaved very well. All the halter training has paid off.

In the last few days I welcomed two new calves, girls called Betty Blue and Maggie. Still waiting for remaining two. Photos soon to follow.


 

 

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