Kirkhaven Moosings

sharing what we do and why we do it

Psalm 107

The Show Scene Starts Here

Updated: 5 days ago

At Kirkhaven Farm, we consider it an honor and privilege to compete or exhibit our Dexters at local, regional, and national venues. We believe that getting this rare breed "out there" is vital to their preservation as a breed and to their viability as milk and beef producers in the agriculture community. But often, people have a clouded view of how our "show cattle" really live. So, I wanted to post pics of some of our show team today to help people understand how utterly normal their days truly are.


These are photos of some of the Kirkhaven Farm Dexter Cattle Show Team in their natural habitat. This is where cattle showing begins and ends for us: on the rolling hills and valleys of our beloved Appalachian farm. Our show cows, calves, steers, and bulls drink fresh water from our creeks, springs, and artesian well. They nap in the woods or on sunny hillsides. They browse through native berry bushes, checking to see which berries are currently ripening. They snack on whatever suits their fancy as they graze through the day. They basically enjoy a quiet life here . . . doing what bovine do best . . . eating and resting and caring for each other.


No one lives in a stall. No one is bathed or groomed daily. Some folks do that with their show cattle, but we do not.


Everyone is periodically haltered, trained, and taught to have manners in the barn and on the trailer. Everyone also gets daily scratches from their farmer (which they enjoy immensely). They learn to cooperate when show grooming becomes important near show time. And they usually get some cow-cookie treats when they walk over to visit with me.


So here they are . . . mud splotches and all . . . some of the 2019 Kirkhaven Farm Show team:


This is Rosie. She's a chondro carrier and will be showing with her calf Attalea. She has not had a bath, a good clipping, or a good brushing since last summer. Her shiny red winter coat, however, still looks beautiful!


Here's Emerald, one of our feisty heifers. She's sporting a nice mud splotch on her side . . . like nearly everyone else in the herd. No worries. She will clean up just fine! Black Dexters are stunningly gorgeous in the show ring.

Here's Breezy. She's one of our pregnant heifers, due to calve this summer. Her lovely dun coat will be so gorgeous when she is finally bathed and clipped.

This is Emma, the only non-Kirkhaven-bred Dexter in our show line-up this year. She was bred by Joel Dowty of the On-A-Lark Dexter herd. Emma was actually born at Kirkhaven when Joel deposited his herd at our farm for a while so he could get situated at a new location. We were so excited to be able to add this sweet heifer to our herd!

And this is me, in my natural habitat (Kubota ATV). Wearing my typical morning attire: polkadot pajamas, heavy-duty clogs, and insulated denim jacket. Making a quick dash outside on a beautiful spring day to move one of my Dexters to the upper pasture for the day.

If you're a Dexter owner but have never shown your cattle, I encourage you to give it a try! We will be having some seminars this summer to help folks learn to halter train, show train, and milk train their Dexters. You're welcome to come for a visit if you want! A seminar schedule will be published soon. We never charge for educational seminars. And we even provide lunch.