In 2004 we decided to become more self sufficient and after quite a bit of research, a year and a half of looking at several herds of different cattle we settled on Dexters. We purchased a bred dun heifer "Clover" from Richard and Bonnie Boudreau and a steer from Sandi Thomas and so started our "herd" in 2006. When Clover had her first calf the following spring her calf came easy, thank heavens, as we were not very prepared. We were encouraged to take our first calf "Cearnach" to the local fair and having never before showed animals at fairs we were very doubtful this would work. After a lot of questions and some work we arrived at the Skagit County fair in WA. Despite our nervousness and mistakes, he was great. First in class and Spring Bull Reserve Champion! Clover was left behind at home and being we wanted to make Cearnach as comfortable as possible I stayed with him at night at the fair. I think we were more nervous than him. Rod even tried his hand at milking Clover, which was quite a show in it's self and after all his hard work Cearnach would not drink it. All in all quite an experience, but we were hooked. Everyone was right, these Dexters were easy to handle,easy on our pastures, had no problems calving, the milk was sweet and rich, we tried a lot, and the beef was lean and tasted wonderful. Now we thought one or two more cows and maybe a bull and we could provide ourselves and a couple other families with good quality all natural grass fed beef. We really loved the Dun color and started looking for another Dun cow when in helping out a friend we aquired a small herd needing help and a new home. There was 1 bull, 4 cows, and 3 calves. After 2 vet visits and a lot of TLC we have a great herd. Llanfair's Ramsie is black polled and carries red and now our herd bull along with Cearnach. The Vet had warned us the cows might take several years and maybe never breed again, but true to being strong and hardy our first calf arrived in February with 2 more and our first red calf in March and another one in April. Each and every one of them are great mothers and are so gentle. Clover has given us two more dun bull calves in the last couple of years and so our small herd has grown. After much consideration we have decided we need more room and a larger farm. We can't decide who to sell, as each one has become special in their own way to us. In the begining I thought how can you tell them apart when they are all black, but now I realize with each having different personalities and subtle differences it is easy to go out and call them by name and watch with amazement as they all come running up for attention and brushing. We have worked hard at picking out the right cows to breed with which bull(s) as we want each calf to be of good blood lines, good conformation and gentle disposition. We work with each calf haulter breaking and training and handling them for showing as well making it easy for new owners to handle and us for our breeding program. We now have 3 bulls 7 cows 2 heifers and 3 calves from spring of 2009.
Cearnach is 8 months old here at the Evergreen State Fair in Washington.
Nap time for Lochlann and Stinker, two of our spring bull calves born in 2009
Cearnach is 2 1/2 years in this picture and now one of our herd bulls. He is Dun and has horns. He was "Spring Bull Reserve Champion at the Evergreen State Fair in Washington in 2007. Cearnach is a great example of the gentle disposition of Dexters as well as the versatility of being able to teach them to work as oxen, pull a hand plow and harrow. This summer we have been able to ride him as well.
|Lochlann is growing up and has sired some great calves. We have traded breeding with a friend and love the chance to diversify our bloodlines. Next year we will have 2 of his calves and are looking to sell him now.
||From our trading stud services we got a beautiful bull calf that is polled, carries red and dun in coat colors. We will keep him for the next several years and are looking forward to next year when we can bred him aganist Roxanne, who is polled, carries red and dun and Thistle who carries red. Even tho she has horns her sire is polled and this year she had a polled heifer. We hope to get red or dun polled heifers. Odrahn is getting his first lesson with halter training with mom looking on. He has a very gentle disposition and is learning fast.|