The summer of 2015 was long & hot & dry. It was a demanding season to be a farmer in the Pacific Northwest. We were challenged at every turn by the relentless weather and the cavalcade of effects it had on the farm and it’s farmers. We also welcomed a major change into our lives in the form of my husbands retirement from a lifelong career. But in the end we simply rejoiced everyday in the beauty of this place.
Life at its finest- Change… Adapt… Rejoice
Let me start by saying- Condolences to all of you who have had, and in some cases are still having, a brutal Winter. Here in the Pacific Northwest, 2015 was the Winter that never was. It feels like Spring & has for awhile now. Though the calendar, and experience, says not quite yet. Restraint. There is a palpable stirring of life on the farm. Sweet scents in the air, a pop of color here and there. An awakening. Come take a walk-about the farm with me… Eye candy for you beleaguered sufferers of Winter.
This is FullCircle Norman. Norman is a 5 month old Dexter bull calf on his way to becoming a steer. He is Dun in color and at 5 months stands 34” tall at the shoulder and tapes @ 300#’s. Norman has been a joy to raise. He is very handsome, smart, friendly, calm and gentle mixed up with a bit of the clown. The other day my husband Bob went out to their turnout at noon to feed the cattle family their hay lunch. Norman was lying down under the hay feeder chewing his cud. The hay was put into the hay rack above him and the other cattle began eating. Norman figured this was a really good gig he had going. He could lay down and the other cows would knock down the best hay for him to eat. Lunch was on the lounge that day! Since Norman is such a fan of National Public Radio, he listens every morning in the barn during morning chores, he has heard numerous stories about the importance of energy conservation. Norman is ALL about energy conservation and helps out whenever he can!
We raise Registered Dexter Cattle on our 18 acre farmstead in NW Oregon, USA. Our small family herd of Dexters spend their days outside on either pasture or in a large turnout area. They are brought into the barn each evening. Every morning begins with the cows. While I am doing barn chores and they begin breakfast, we all listen to NPR together. I have very educated cows that are up to date on the pressing issues of the day! Our farm routine also ends each day with the cows. Us humans always end up sitting on the edge of the cow mangers visiting and catching up on each others day. The cows contentedly munch on their dinner and are happy being the recipients of an ear rub here, a chin scratch there. It is a lovely way to slow down and end the day. The Dexters have been a wonderful addition to our farm. They give us Beef, Dairy products, beautiful Calves, mowing and weed removal services and fertilization, but also hours of fun and a daily laugh at some antic or another!
To enjoy other blog posts about our Dexters follow these links.
Meet FullCircle Lucy the newest member of the FullCircle Farm Dexter herd. Lucy was born in the wee hours of the morning on June 10th. She is a dainty little package with long legs. Lucy weighs 48 pounds and is 24″ tall. She is RED, polled (no horns) and every inch is utter adorableness. Mom Eloise, Baby Lucy, Grandma Merrideth, Sister Maggie & Uncle Norman greatly enjoyed her first day out in the pasture.
FullCircle Lucy- 2 day old, polled, red, Dexter heifer
In 2009 I was doing research on breeds of cattle looking for one to add to our small farm. We ultimately chose the American Dexter. Originating in Ireland, this small stature, dual-purpose breed had all the characteristics that I was looking for. With mature cows weighing in around 700#’s and standing approximately 40” at the shoulder they seemed a perfect fit for us and our small farm.
For a family cow a Dexter will produce a manageable quantity of high butterfat milk, 1-2 gallons per day is common. Our family milk needs are much less so I chose to milk once a day and only take what is needed in the kitchen. Sharing with the calf allows me access to wonderful milk as well as providing the calf with a great start in life. A Dexter for beef will produce about 400#’s of tender and lean, well marbled, dark red beef in smaller portion cuts from a 24 month old steer. They are economical to keep and return a high percentage of food product for their size when compared to larger breeds.
Dexters are the perfect breed choice for a small acreage family cow. Beautiful, gentle and friendly, easy to train and to handle. Their diminutive size makes them a great livestock project for children and a pleasure to work with for small women or older adults. Dexter’s are hardy, long-lived and are known as great mothers and easy calvers.
Our Dexter’s have been a wonderful addition to our farm. They are great fun and bring us immense pleasure as well as beautiful calves, wonderful dairy products and healthy beef.
We occasionally offer for sale high quality registered breeding stock heifers. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in adding a FullCircle heifer to your farm!
Thank You for visiting our site.
Cathy & Bob
Belle Fourche ‘Mom & Grandma’ Merrideth the playground monitor.
Merrideth & Oscar
Sophie & Maggie
FullCircle Maggie at 3 days
Oscar at 1 week
FullCircle Sophie at 4 months
FullCircle Sophie at 3 months
FullCircle Eloise at 2 years
FullCircle Eloise @ 2 yrs. close to term with FullCircle Maggie
FullCircle Maggie at 3 days
Belle Forche Merrideth at 5 years, with Bones
Belle Fourche Merrideth @ 9 years
FullCircle Sophie @ 2 wks.
FullCircle Oscar @ 24 months
FullCircle Maggie at 2 months
FullCircle Sophie newborn.
FullCircle Maggie @ 1 day.
FullCircle Eloise at 1 year
Sherman at 1 week.
Sherman @ 1 year
FullCircle Eloise refereeing Sophie & Maggie
Oscar at 3 weeks
Merrideth & Oscar
Belle Forche Merrideth w/ FullCircle Sophie at 3 months