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BALLYBOLEY DEXTERS

A family run herd of Multi Award Winning Pedigree Dexter Cattle based on the shores of Strangford Lough along the Ards Peninsula and at National Trust Orlock Farm, County Down, Northern Ireland.

We are a Pasture For Life Certified Beef Farm.


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OUR STORY



Ballyboley Dexters started with just two in-calf cows in 2009, Fiona and Bess, who were purchased to help a family member rehabilitate after a serious illness.  With gentle and traditional farming techniques our herd has slowly grown to around 80 cattle.  We breed and show our Dexter cattle, sell Pedigree livestock to other Dexter farmers  and more recently have progressed to small scale Dexter beef farming. 


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HIGHER WELFARE FARMING

A Better Way to Farm

Maintaining high standards of animal welfare is part of day to day life within the Ballyboley Herd.

Dexters are a native breed and are naturally hardy.  Our herd graze outdoors all year as we believe the 'act of grazing' is really important to them as they have the freedom to express their normal behaviours and live in family groups. 

In summer months they graze pasture containing grasses, wildflowers and herbs, the natural diet of cattle.  They enjoy browsing the hedgerows year round nibbling on young shoots, berries and other tasty goodies. 

We aim to be self sufficient and cut and bale our own grass over the summer months.  In the winter months we feed this to our cattle as conserved grass, haylage/silage.

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NATURE FRIENDLY FARMING

A Better Way to Farm

We believe passionately that farming with the environment and maintaining the highest animal welfare practices are core to what we do at Ballyboley Dexters.

Farming with the environment is really important to us.  Not only because we are lucky enough to graze our herd along the shores of Strangford Lough within designated areas of 'Outstanding Natural Beauty' and 'Special Scientific Interest' but because there is a real need to reverse the damage that has been done by some farming practices in recent times; soils have been depleted, water courses degraded and nature has struggled to cope with the pace of change.

We use conservation grazing methods to help protect this environment by avoiding over grazing and rotating grazing areas depending on wild flower and bird nesting seasons.  

We are members of 'The Nature Friendly Farming Network' and this provides us with fantastic information and advice from like minded farmers. Stephen has taken on the role of Vice Chair of the Nature Friendly Farming Network here in Northern Ireland.

Stephen won Farming Life 2021 Nature Friendly Farmer Of The Year

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OUR DEXTERS
ARE 100%
PASTURE FED

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A Better Way to Farm

Current Advertising Standards Agency rules for using the term ‘grass-fed’ can be very misleading. Grass-fed cows eat some grass/conserved grass but they will also have been fed other less natural feeds, such as grains/cereals or the by-products of human food manufacturing like bread and biscuit waste.

100% Pasture Fed refers to a cow that has only consumed its mother milk as a calf and then grass/conserved grass for its entire life.

If you want grain-free meat you should buy our Pasture For Life Certified 100% Pasture Fed Beef. 

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OUR DEXTERS ARE PASTURE RAISED

A Better Way to Farm

Pasture raised animals are allowed to live outdoors for most of their lives. They get fresh air, room to move around, and sunlight. 

As a Certified Pasture For Life Farm we take great pride in very special pasture that our Dexters graze on.  Pasture differs from grass as it contains a mix of grasses, wildflowers and herbs.

Our Dexters do not receive any cattle meal, grain or soya at all. 

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WHAT WE PRODUCE

100% Pasture Raised Dexter Beef and Pedigree Dexter Show Cattle

PREMIUM BEEF SELECTIONS

We sell our 100% pasture raised premium Dexter beef as Beef Selections.  The contents of these selections include a variety of cuts from both the hind and forequarter.

PEDIGREE DEXTER BREEDING STOCK

Ballyboley Dexters is well known on the Northern Ireland Dexter showing circuit and we take great pride in breeding high quality breed standard animals.

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UPCOMING EVENTS AND MARKETS

Looking after our Dexters and managing the pastures and wildlife on the ground we farm keeps us pretty busy but when we can we love to get out and meet people.  We will keep you updated about any events we are attending or running on the farm and look forward to meeting you.

BALLYBOLEY EXPERIENCES

Friday 8th September (SOLD OUT)
Wild Dining at Orlock Ft. Sea Fresh and Lightfoot Kitchen

Saturday 10th September (TICKETS AVAILABLE)

Wild Picnic at Orlock Ft. Sea Fresh and Lightfoot Kitchen

Buy Tickets

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FIND US AT LOCAL MARKETS
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ONE OFF SPECIAL MARKETS

From time to time we will attend one off special markets or be part of special menus in local restaurants. Keep an eye out here and on our social media for updates!

TIDE AND TURF FESTIVAL, PORTAVOGIE

Saturday 2nd Sept 

12-5pm 

Portavogie Harbour

Serving hot food and beef to take home

FOLLOW OUR DEXTERS ON
SOCIAL MEDIA

We love updating everyone daily on what is going on here at Ballyboley


Follow us and interact on social media

Our Instagram feed is connected below, have a look at the cute Dexters!

CONTACT US

Greyabbey
Co. Down
Northern Ireland

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