The Alvecote herd of pedigree Dexter cattle was named after the tiny Warwickshire village where it was founded
almost two decades ago with the purchase of two heifers and is now, well established here in Ceredigion, Mid Wales. I chose the
Dexter for a number of reasons: because they were small and fairly easy to care for, consumed less food than larger commercial cattle and only required a modest acreage. As a dual-purpose breed the Dexter
produced a realistic amount of naturally sweet creamy milk and great tasting beef, the perfect size for the family freezer.
Despite an increase in herd size over the years my cows remain more than just a number, they may look alike but each individual has their own personality and respond to their own name.
I truly believe that you only get out what you are prepared to put in;
providing good nutrition, management and health care is a priority for me.
I take a special interest in producing red, dual purpose Dexter cattle and
take great care in selecting a suitable bull for each of my cows and use a
combination of artificial insemination and natural service.
Those herd members designated for AI
are put on a synchronisation programme so all calve within a few days
of each other making management very easy.
The herd now comprises of home-bred non short leg Dexter cattle, ideal for the practical smallholder like me to produce some
milk for the house together with an adequate amount of beef.
My cattle are the only Dexter herd in Wales registered with a cattle health scheme provider accredited free of BVD, IBR, Leptospirosis and Johne's Disease (Risk Level 1).
Whilst Bovine TB remains a problem in large parts of the UK in order to protect my herd from infection I have chosen to
subscribe to the bTB scheme and officially accredited as a 'low risk' holding for Bovine TB. My herd has been closed since 2011 and I no longer attend shows or sales.