"Calves beef up the interest at old farm"
The Journal - UK
'Down on the Bede's World farm, two new additions are making history.
Chad and Wilfred are a pair of calves with a lot to live up to - they'll be following in the hoof-prints of the only working oxen in the North.
The Dexter cattle will be taught to plough the land using traditional medieval methods, continuing the farm's aim of creating an authentic working Anglo-Saxon farm.
The 10-month-old calves have been officially named, after visiting children voted for Chad and Wilfred from a shortlist of 7th Century names.
Chad and Wilfred were both Northumbrian saints, but their new namesakes are anything but.
The Dexter breed are notoriously hard to train, but having already succeeded in training the old boys on the farm, Edwin and Oswin, farm manager Christine Fitzgerald has high hopes for the ploughing protégés. She said: "When we're selecting new animals I always look for a good temperament and these calves are very well-handled.
"We use this breed because they are so similar to what the Anglo-Saxons would have used. They're a naturally small breed.
"They are definitely more difficult to train than other cattle, let's just say that they're characters."
The veterans of the farm, Edwin and Oswin, have been at Bede's World, near Jarrow, for 10 years and have become proficient ploughers, having been built up into the bodybuilders of the oxen world.
The new twosome, who will take over when the old guard retire, will not be able to start heavy training for at least two years when they're strong enough, but they're already getting used to life on the farm.'