|RAA's Dexter Cattle
Our Farm is also home to a small group of Dexter Cattle, a delightful little breed of cattle known for its friendliness,
hardiness, disease resistance and its very good meat and milking quality.
The Dexter is a small breed of dual-purpose cattle originating in Ireland. They are thrifty and hardy, raised in
Today, the Dexter is known for its hardiness, docility, thriftiness and calving ease. They are a true dual purpose
breed. Their meat is well marbled and tender, and an average Dexter cow can produce two or more gallons of milk
per day. Dexters do well in all climates and pasture types. Given proper feed and shelter they can survive just about
anywhere. The size of the Dexter makes them ideally suited to the small property owner.
The Dexter's calm, gentle nature and natural curiosity have given them the honor of being labelled the idea family
cows. Women often enjoy the Dexter breed due to their smaller stature; they are less intimidating than traditional beef
Dexter bulls make excellent crosses on traditional beef breeds since they reduce the stress on first calving heifers.
Calving problems are virtually eliminated and the crossed calf is vigorous when born due to no calving problems. The
cross-bred calf usually grows to 7/8 the size of the dam.
Traits of Dexter Cattle
Cows: 38 to 42 inches, weight approx. 750 lbs.
Bulls: 38 to 44 inches, weight approx. 1000 lbs.
Colour: Black, Dun, Red
Dexter cows produce rich, easily digested, small-fat-globule milk recommended for infants or people with digestive
problems. An exceptional cow can produce five gallons (23 L) per day of 4% butterfat milk, average cows yield 2-3
gallons per day (9 to 13 litres).
Beef from Dexters is of excellent quality with a high dress-out percentage, providing greater yield of lean, tender,
We currently have a small herd consisting of 3 Cows and 1 Bull.
Abigail(7 yrs), Red(4 yrs) and Winter(yearling) are our current breeding girls. All very mild mannered cows, who
enjoy being spoiled with brushing and scratches in hard to reach areas. Show them a brush and they come over
Red I milk a couple months each year, 1 quarter of her utter gives us up to 3.5 litres a day, so we leave the calf on
and pick the teat the calf doesn't use(usually they pick a side and rarely use the other). We do not use a lot of fresh
milk but we enjoy making yogurt and using it in baking etc. We also freezer a few liters each season for emergencies,
it makes great emergency milk for lambs etc
We milk on the pasture, Red is great with this method. She patiently waits and pauses her grazing until I'm finished.
To me that just proves the wonderful calm and relaxed character of this breed.
This season(2013) we will be training our new Yearling heifer Winter to be milked as well.
Henry -our Bull, is very mild mannered, he really has not a mean bone in his body. He is a short, stocky little bull. We
call him our little buffalo because of how beefy he looks.
This trait he passes onto his calves, they are born with great muscle tone which only improves with age.
Here are some pictures of our Dexters(click to enlarge):
|What'cha doin' down there?????
Red could not contain her curiosity and had to see what I am doing kneeling in the
dirt....... gotta love these cows!
|18 month old steer sharing hay with
one of our ewes