Bancyboblen Non-Short Dexters

Oliver, one of our young bull calves

Our Bancyboblen herd of pedigree Dexters was named after a smallholding where our forebears lived several generations ago. All our breeding cattle and their heifer calves are registered with the Dexter Cattle Society, of which we are members. They are all non-short (our personal preference) and we keep both black and red cattle.

The very first calf to be born at Cilwg - Bancyboblen Angharad - arrived with the minimum of fuss on 5th March 2010. She was a lovely black heifer and at days old was already chasing magpies off 'her' field. Fortunately, none of the calves born since then have needed any assistance either, and they've all turned out to be as friendly and amenable as their mothers.

They really are happy in any weather!

Although none have been halter-trained, they are used to being fussed, and are perfectly relaxed with people and with dogs, which makes life so much easier. None of our fields are large, so moving cattle from field to field is a regular occurence. They are so familiar with being moved around – usually to better grazing – that they routinely come when called. This makes it a very easy one-person job.

The handsome Brambledel Bilbo - just Bilbo to his friends

Previously, we have used artificial insemination on our Dexters, with above average results. However, since moving to Cilwg, circumstances have dictated that we need to hire a bull each year to serve our cattle 'au naturale'. Luckily, we have found a wonderful couple in Newcastle Emlyn who keep the most magnificent bulls. They work to the same ethos as us and ensure that all their bulls are well handled and haven't got a nasty bone in them - although they're still bulls so must always be handled with caution!

We don't currently send our young heifers/steers off to be butchered ourselves, although we may do in the future. We regularly have young steers and breeding heifers/cows available though if you're looking to start/add to a herd of your own.