Dexter Cattle

Haye farm is home to the pedigree herd of Melgrove Dexter cattle Dexter cattle are the smallest native breed in the British Isles.

Originating from southwest Ireland they are a hardy breed able to thrive on poorer pastures and live outdoors year round. They are a dual-purpose breed being productive in both milk and beef. It is however their beef that is particularly prized being recognised as a premium product. During much of the 20th century the breed’s popularity waned as the drive was on for larger more productive animals. The breed’s fortunes have however revived in recent times, their small size and low management requirements making them a popular choice with smallholders and people new to keeping livestock.

Dexter’s come in three colours black being the most common, red and dun. Our Melgrove herd was established in 1996 and the herd is the current winner of the Midland Group small herd competition. At present we have all three colours but are in the process of changing the entire herd to dun (brown) coloured animals. This is the least common colour in the breed and will be achieved over a number of years by the use of dun coloured bulls. Our stock bull at present is Hedgerow Mountain Ash.

The herd lives outdoors year round and remain in family groups. They graze the grassland that is rich in wildflowers and herbs, during winter this is supplemented with hay (produced on the farm). Mineral and trace elements are provided as required but no other additives or supplementary feeds are used. We strive to give our animals a natural fulfilling life Pedigree females of various ages are usually for sale. Enquiries/viewings are always welcome.