Livestock

Today we breed  Dexters which originated in Ireland in 1845. It is the smallest British breed of cattle. There are two recognised types, short legged and non-short. Dexter cows are extremely maternal and because of their dual purpose qualities will milk well. Dexter’s are noted for their longevity and should breed regularly for 14 years or more. The breed comes in three colours, predominately black, but also red and dun. They were first shown at the Royal Show at Norwich in 1886.

Cattle

Jack Walford bred Herefords at Wolverton in the 50’s and he was president of the breed society and spent time showing and judging round the country.

Sheep

A small flock of Pedigree Hampshire Downs grazed the pastures in the 50’s. some were shown but most were for meat and breeding.

Light boned and easy to manage,the Black Welsh Mountain is a small but incredibly tough breed well equipped to fend for itself and lamb without assistance. Their short thick wool is popular with spinners.

A real eye catching breed in the showing ring. Black Welsh Mountain are an easy to manage small breed with natural resistance to diseases. They will do well on rough, lowland or smallholding grazing. They are prolific and undemanding, hardy and self reliant. They produce premium quality, lean meat with an excellent meat to bone ratio and full of flavour.

This is our prefered breed today at Old Rectory Farm. They are not long off the Rare Breed Survival List, follow a bucket of food and are a joy to show.

In the past pigs were only kept for meat. A few weaners which fed the household and farm workers families.

Pigs

Today we keep Kune Kune pigs. Originally kept by Maoris in New Zealand, they are friendly hairy pigs born in a variety of colours. It is the smallest domesticated breed of pig in the world, a firm favourite among smallholders, due to its placid friendly nature,  its ease of management and ability to thrive on grass. We rear them mainly for meat but we also hire out boars and sell piglets.