Our Blog

A blog about Gschwendt Dexters: Cows, Nikolaus and Rebecca.. and the occasional sheep!

Our First Blog Entry...

10th December 2017 

Welcome to our website! It is still a work in progress so please let me know if I have done anything silly! Today was spent driving about in the snow checking the cows - crazy what a few inches of snow can do to the roads. Luckily our cows are a very hardy breed and the snow doesn't faze them one bit. Our Dexters live outside all year round using trees and hedges for shelter from rain, snow or sunshine. So today, we dropped off hay to all the animals as it saves them rooting around in the snow to find grass. Checks consisted of feeding hay, making sure the cows were all in good health, checking fences in case fallen trees had pulled them down and checking the water troughs weren't frozen over. 

Happy New Year!

9th January 2018 

Happy New Year Everyone! 2017 has now past and what a good year it was with the showing. All of our cows ran with the bull last summer and are hopefully all in calf. Boris our Bull is back running with the cows just in case he missed any. The weather has been a tad wet, so we have been using plenty of straw to keep the cows comfortable in their outside pen. They have been very well fed on hay! As to our last blog the snow lasted for a couple of days and now has all disappeared - thank goodness! However the fields are now very wet. The Ryeland sheep are doing well and we are looking forward to seeing our first pedigree lambs in April. The ewes will be scanned on the 6th of February - watch this space! Our TB test is due in the coming months, fingers crossed it goes well. The cows are due to calve in March and we look forward to sharing our calving stories with you. 2018 is going to be an exciting year with Gschwendt Dexters as me and Rebecca are getting married in May - two days before Surrey Show #honeymoon!!! Beef sales are going well, we have had so much positive feedback from our Christmas sales - thank you! We still have some in stock - plenty of steaks, mince ad burgers! We look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy the blogs we share with you. 

Scanning time!

15th February 2018

Happy February! This month we have had the exciting news that three of our Ryeland Ewes are in lamb! We have a triplet, twin and a single due around the end of March or the start of April, so we will keep you up dated! We have also brought in the show sheep and sheared them ready for the show season. This is done early to allow for some regrowth before the shows. Don't worry they are nice and toasty in the stables.

Our home-bred bull Gschwendt Boris has been put in the field with our heifers this week, so hopefully they will bring us some lovely calves in 9 months time. We have also hired in our friends bull - Bert, who we have put in with three of the heifers, to bring in some new breeding lines. 

Next month we will start calving! The time we most look forward to all year... so time to start getting the cows in and supplies ready!

TB, BVD and Calving

22nd March 2018 

So this month we have been busy! We have had our annual herd TB test - and are excited to announce that we are free for another year! At the same time we tested everyone for BVD to become part of a scheme called BVD Free England. And we passed this too! All cows and calves were clear, meaning we don't have any BVD in the herd. 

In the meantime we have also brought all the cows inside for calving. They are starting to settle down into the easy life in a barn - especially now we have put up a cow brush (p.s. I recommend watching the video on Facebook of Elisabeth getting it slightly wrong!). One of my best friends Lauren came to visit last week and I think she enjoyed herself especially having a go at walking Gschwendt Erica into her new barn (see photo). 

Excitingly we have had our first calf of the year born a few days ago! Gschwendt Rosie did a fantastic job bringing a lovely little bull calf into the world - well done Rosie!

Calves, more calves and a few lambs!

25th April 2018 

We always knew April would be a crazy month, with all the cows due to calve and the sheep to lamb! We have had a successful calving with 6 beautiful calves born this month. We have few more to calve in the next few weeks but the majority is complete! 

These calves are the cheekiest we have had - I've spent more time lifting them out of other pens back into their own than anything else... which is fine now they're ear tagged but when they were a few days old try telling apart two identical red calves born a day apart! We even have one calf that is obsessed with the hose - when ever I fill his mothers water bucket he has to "help". 

This years naming letter is "F" and we name all the girls after flowers and the boys - anything goes but we like to use important historical figures e.g. we have a breeding bull named Churchill and the little red calf if the photo is Franklin! 

Now the weather is changing and spring has sprung, we have started to turn the animals out of their calving pens back into the field, the ewes and lambs are already out and bouncing around the paddock (yes..even the ewes!).

So if anyone would like to see some bouncy lambs and cute calves give us a ring and we'll happily show you around! Look forward to seeing you!

The month of May.. and June!

28th June 2018 

This month was a rather busy one! Nikolaus and I (Rebecca) finally had the day of our dreams and got married! We had a lovely church wedding following by a traditional farmers reception - a marquee in a field, with a help your self bar and more food than you can imagine - of course including our tasty Dexter Beef cooked in a clay oven. And of course, our trusty sheep dog moss brought the rings down the aisle! 

The day after our wedding the show season began for us - with Surrey County Show! Our favourite Bull Boris won 2nd prize and so did Ruby in the Dry cow class. A great show to get us back into the swing of things!

June was a very dry month and involved us making silage... and then having to feed silage due to having no grass! Lets hope we get some rain soon! 

Our Bull Boris also went into a field with the cows this month, really for breeding season! Good luck Boris :)

Kent Show and a Little Extra News...

27th July 2018 

Kent show was the first week of July and it was HOT! We had a great weekend at a show we love to support as Rebecca grew up in Kent and both Nikolaus and Rebecca went to agricultural college in Hadlow, Kent. We managed to get 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize rosettes! We also got to show off our new sign that we had painted as a wedding gift by a lovely lady in Wales.. now that was fun to hide until the wedding day!!

We also attended Chertsey show, a little show near to us, run by volunteers with a great community spirit that always involves a lovely BBQ and ending with everyone mucking in to help clear up the marquee at the end of the weekend. There was a little mix up with our entries this year so we took some of our Ryeland Sheep.. until the last minute when they found us a cow pen so we rushed home to pick up the lovely Ruby!

So the "Little Extra News"... next showing season we will be taking a pram! Thats right, Nikolaus and I are expecting our first baby, due in February 2019! Lets hope the Mini Farmer loves showing off the cows as much as we do...

Another beautiful wedding.. 

19th August 2018 

The highlight of August was being asked by two of our very good friends to provide the beef for their wedding. Of course we said yes! Alex and Corals wedding was a similar style to ours, very rustic and they even got married out in the field! It was a stunning day. 

We provided half of one of our grass-fed Dexter's to Alex and Coral for their wedding, which they cooked on a spit roast! It was so popular with the guests and even the Bride had 2 beef rolls! 

September & October

29th October 2018 

In September we went to our last show of the season, a little local one day show in Henley. We like to support the little shows, just like people like to support our little business, so every year the last show for us is this tiny show in Berkshire. We always have a lovely time at this show and took a few heifers and a bull. It great to catch up with every one there!

October is the month where one of our lovely red bulls Cognac goes out on hire to a lovely small holder in Henley. However this year, that didn't go quite to plan! The morning we went to pick up Cognac, him and Churchill (another of our bulls) had had a little falling out over night and Cognac although physically uninjured was achy and not looking his best! So we decided it was best he stays home to recover (hes all better now!) and we sent good ol' Boris out on hire instead. This is a photo we received from Maria a few days after he arrived.. doesn't he look handsome and so grown up!

Two Surprise Calves!

29th November 2018

So this morning, Nikolaus was doing the usual daily checks on the cows and this involves walking around a big field where two of our pet cows (Pip and Taurey) live with two heifers. Remember back in February we hired a bull called Bert from our friend Alfie? Well Bert must have got to work straight away as the two heifers calved exactly 9 months from the day he was put into the field with them! So when Nikolaus was having a walk around he was surprised that over night not just one... but BOTH of the heifers had calved! What a lovely start to the day!