Cattle form an integral part of the farming system at Pen Bryn Farms, being used to alternate grazing with the sheep flocks.
A herd of pedigree Longhorns is used to graze some of the less productive parts of the farm, with a 100-cow commercial herd of Limousin and British Blue crosses forming the backbone of the cattle enterprise.
The commercial herd is crossed back to Limousin and British Blue bulls to produce high quality suckled calves with many show potential calves sold from home in recent years. Suckled calves and store cattle are also regularly sold at both Welshpool and Shrewsbury markets.
A small number of crossbred bulls are also sold from the commercial herd each year, with these combining the excellent fleshing of the Limousin and Blue breeds with hybrid vigour and excellent length and locomotion.
A small British Blue herd is also run with the farm having been one of the original importers of Blue cattle to the UK in the early 1980s. The current herd is based on a select female base, with the aim to breed top quality bulls for use at home and for sale locally.
Female lines in the present herd include Dragon Blues Babe, a Bringlee Volkawagon daughter, Stonewall Blosson, a Tamhorn Sumo daughter and Boothlow Debbie, an Affute du ty Ossogne daughter. A range of sires have been used in recent years by AI, with Heros Du Peroy, Bringlee Waldo, Empire D’Ochain, Gitan Du P’Tit Mayer and Bluegrass Cyclone all used to good effect in the herd.
The Penparc Longhorn herd was established in 2001, having been founded on cattle sourced from Adam Henson’s herd at Kineton, Cheltenham.
Much like the Southdown flock the Longhorn cattle were chosen for their ability to thrive where many breeds would struggle and they also graze some of the less productive parts of the farm.
The Longhorns have proved to be an excellent asset to the farm’s enterprises and are an integral part to the conservation management of the farm.
Steers from the herd are sold under the Traditional Breeds Meat Marketing Scheme and have graced the tables at many high quality hotels, such as the Dorchester and many others.
With a closed herd breeding policy, the herd is slowly expanding and surplus female stock is sometimes for sale. Sires used in the herd in recent years include Linton Alfred.