J & B Fentem & Sons – the ALSOP Herd

J & B Fentem & Sons

The ALSOP Herd

Manor Farm is located in the Peak District near Ashbourne, Derbyshire.  The farm runs from 300 to 1000 feet above sea level, resulting in housing the herd for six months of the year in cubicles.

John Fentem With a Cow

Farm Facts

  • Over 120 pedigree South Devon suckler herd
  • 30 heifers kept as replacements or sold per year
  • 7 South Devon bulls
  • Progeny – Remaining heifers and all the males are finished
  • Female replacements are retained, so apart from bulls it is a closed herd
  • 370 acres and 20 acres tenanted land farmed
Fentem cows in field


  • Finished bulls average 364.8kg DW at 14 months.
  • Bulls grade mainly U (23% U+ and 53% U-) and some R (24%) grades.
  • Finished heifers averaging 317.57kg DW at 22-24 months.


  • The herd is housed in cubicles from October to April and fed silage
  • They calve in March
  • Herd is managed by set stocking grazing of the cows
  • Heifers calve at 2 years to a South Devon bull for easy calving
  • Heifers selected for breeding must be over 350kg at turnout
  • Herd is BVD accredited
  • Bulls are finished on ad-lib straw and corn, which are all bought-in
  • Heifers finished on silage and brewers’ grains
  • Polled herd


“The South Devon is integral to our business.  The breed suits us due to their temperament and quality.  With our finished cattle meeting the specification required we’re provided with a good return.

Our aim is to continue to improve the quality of our stock”