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  Home > OUR FARMING PRACTICES


We believe our animals should live a natural life with minimal stress. Our management of both our Red deer and Dexter cattle is very similar and sensitive.  The stock roam in a safe natural environment with plenty of space and lots of shelter from the wind and rain as well as shade on the occasional sunny day!


Our principles
Deer & Dexter as a business is built on a desire
  • to minimise farming inputs
  • to create a balance on the land and
  • to operate the meat production side of what we do with the smallest carbon footprint and fewest associated food miles that we can.
We take our responsibility for our land seriously and are firm believers that how we look after it now will determine not only the future success of our business but also the health of this environment for centuries to come.

Contact and confidence
We check our stock every day, more often when calves are expected or stock housed. With this level of contact, the animals know us and we know them. We also move them onto fresh pastures regularly so they know their way around the farm. This means that they don’t find moving into new environments alarming or stressful.

The breeding bulls and stags mate their females naturally - we don’t use AI (artificial insemination) - and the females give birth and rear their young to a natural weaning age with little need for assistance. Veterinary treatments are administered only if required - fortunately a rare occurrence – and we don’t routinely administer antibiotics, wormers or growth promoters.

Managing the pasture
A lot of our time is spent managing pastures to ensure there is plenty of quality food available year round. We don’t use additives in our silage, we don’t apply pesticides and the clover levels of our swards are high so we don't need to apply high levels of artifical fertiliser.

The stock graze our varied pastures during the summer and are fed silage and hay during the winter rather than being more intensively reared on a cereal-based ration.  This means that they grow more slowly. Our pastures contain a range of grass species, which is good for their them, as, like us, animals need a varied diet to keep them healthy.  Deep-rooted herbs, wild flowers and even plants sometimes considered ‘weeds’ are an essential part of our pasture mixes, contributing essential minerals and trace elements.

Much of our land has been entered into DEFRA’s Entry Level Scheme and the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. In practice, we had already implemented many of the scheme's objectives but welcome the resulting input to our farm income as well as the recognition of what we consider fundamental aspects of good and sustainable farming.


 
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FREE DELIVERY on orders over £100. Under £100 we charge £12 to cover the cost of the next day courier service. We have a minimum order value of £35 excluding delivery.  Please see Terms page for details.

Our next events and market's are:   JUNE - Fri 2nd - Grasmere Farmers Market; Sat 3rd Barnard Castle Farmer Market; Sat 10th - Orton Farmers Market; Fri 16th -Cartmel Local Producers Market; Sun 18th - Askham Hall Summer Fete; Tues 20th - Penrith Farmers Market; Sat 24th - Brampton Farmers Market; Fri 30th - Kendal Farmers Market. JULY - Sat 1st - Barnard Castle Farmer Market; Sat 8th - Orton Farmers Market.
For full details go to Where to Buy