Irish Dexter Cattle
Dexters For Sale
Irish Dexter Cattle"the breed for all reasons!"
Dexters appeal to families who have pursued their dream to live on a small farm, who want a more
sustainable lifestyle on a small acreage, and who want a few low-impact animals for their own
use. Dexters are, historically, dual-purpose animals. Records on milk production are
mostly from England, and milking is only in a corner of my knowledge-base, though I did milk
one of my Dexters one year until I got so much I couldn't keep up. But I can speak more
authoritatively about their tender and excellent meat on a forage-only diet. As a
breeder, I have animals that suit such families to the degree that they want a gentle,
handle-able animal to use for breeding, especially the bulls.
Dexters also appeal to those with an interest in preserving historic breeds of domestic
animals. (See also
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.) For this interest
group, I have a few animals who are from very early bloodlines that are perhaps as "pure"
to the early ideal of the "survivor cow" without modern "improved" genetics for production
as any in the mid-US. They are "Legacy-approved." Part of this group is my
"mini-Woodmagic" herd, begun because of my respect and admiration of Beryl Rutherford,
which started in my first year of Dexters through reading The Life and Times of Dexters
by Ted Neal.
A few people come to Dexters because of their triple-purpose billing and want a pair for
oxen. For this interest group of buyers, I have a very small and select group of cows
with which I put one of my gentle bullswho is himself out of one of my gentlest
cows. I try to keep the male offspring from this group especially close to the house
so that they will have a great deal of human interaction even while I leave the calves
with their mothers. I am in process this year of beginning the training of a pair
of "shortleg" (chondrodysplasia-carrier; also extremely cute) males for oxen for myself.
Keep checking back for my progress!
For Dexter breeders, those of us who are almost obsessive fanciers (!), I also have breeding
stock of various colors and types, red, dun, black, polled, horned. In purchasing my original
stock I went for the best bull, in particular, that I could find, sending to Washington state
to purchase him, so my bloodlines have something to offer many breeders around the country.
I am using select AI sires on my traditional girls at present. I have been using the bulls
listed in my Herd Sires section according to the
aAa system for best matches with my main herd of cows.
This internationally recognized system aims to aid the breeder in achieving better structural
balance in the offspring from every mating. No matter how good my current Dexters are, I
want the ones from my breeding to be "all they can be" and "live long and prosper"!
I am using aAa because I want to contribute my little bit to keeping Dexters the "survivor cows"
that the breed has been famous for being!
In the earliest days that the chondrodysplasia DNA test was offered in the US, I tested almost
my whole herd. Therefore, I can tell buyers of definite non-carrier animals if that is what
they choose for their purchases.
I keep chondro-carrying animals as well. In my opinion, it
is too early in our knowledge of how the gene operates fully and what goes with it for me
to believe that we are wise to drop the carrier animals from the gene pool. However, for
practical or aesthetic reasons, some breeders will prefer one or the other type, and I am
able to provide them with tested bloodlines.
I have a great deal of variety and enjoy showing visitors some of that range within the Dexter breed.
Beyond color and polledness, I also have taller and shorter animals. For those who want a larger
frame (but still a Dexter-size) for breeding bigger beef, I have some.
For those who want smaller
"pet-type" Dexters, I have some. My own ideal for looks is probably my
for a bull (at 43 inches [at 3 years], and a non-carrier, he has quite nice beefy hindquarters
for a Dexter but carries some dairy characteristics according to the
aAa analysis which lists him as a "612"); I like a cow of
around 40-42" whose claim to fame comes from her temperament necessarily mean they aren't stubborn or don't give their owners stories to tell!
necessarily mean they aren't stubborn or don't give their owners stories to tell!
and structural correctness,
her easy-calving, longevity, fertility, and well-doing on forage alone more than her looks in
such categories as "pretty," "feminine head," "style," or color or even lack of minor flaws.
Temperament and intelligence, to me, are the real hallmarks of a Dexter. ...which doesn't
Dexters For Sale