The Cholderton Estate is a mixed fully organic agricultural enterprise with animal husbandry at its heart. Carefully planned crop rotation provides a balanced diet full of the essential nutrients for the growth and well being of the varied livestock supported by the estate.
Grassland is the essential basis for the livestock enterprises on the Estate. The dairy herds and their followers, the Hampshire Down sheep and the Cleveland Bays, all graze over the grass fields for most, if not all, of the year. They also rely on forage harvested during the spring and summer for winter feed, in the form of either hay or silage. All grassland consists of legume/grass leys that carry livestock at a higher density and provide the great bulk of hay and silage. These leys are normally established by under-sowing spring barley.
Cattle form the largest grouping with some 350 dairy cows in two units, plus 50 dairy replacement heifers, and 50 beef cattle and followers. Sheep are an important part of the livestock, with 200 purebred Hampshire Downs and 200 Finn crossbred; there are 60 ewe lambs.
A smaller but nonetheless significant element is the presence of the Cleveland Bay horses for which the estate is particularly well known.
The Estate was well represented in the Hampshire Down Breeders Association GB Flock compettition 2012 in the following categories:
- Winner & Moybrick Cup – Champion Flock
- Winner & Ballynahinch Perpetual Trophy – Best Flock of Breeding Ewes
- Winner – Best Breeding Ewes & Best Older Ewes
- Reserve – Best Shearling Ewes, Champion Ram Lamb