"For between £200 and £2,000, people can buy a cow that stands no taller than a large German shepherd dog, gives 16 pints of milk a day that can be drunk unpasteurised, keeps the grass "mown" and will be a family pet for years before ending up in the freezer.
The Dexter, a mountain breed from Ireland, is perfect for cattle-keeping on a small scale, but other breeds are being artificially created to compete with it, including the Mini-Hereford and the Lowline Angus, which has been developed by the Australian government to stand no more than 39in high but produce 70% of the steak of a cow twice its size.
Home on the range for the Farrant family is a detached house with a large garden on the outskirts of Ashford, Kent. Bernard Farrant and his wife Sue, both teachers, have bought four Dexters.
'With high food prices, they are actually quite an attractive option if you like producing your own food,' said Sue Farrant."