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Dexter Cattle

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Witch Doctor 01, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    A beef option for home steading as they take 1/2 the space?acerage of a full size cow...

    The native home of the Dexter is in the southern part of Ireland where they were bred by small land holders and roamed about the shelter less mountainous districts in an almost wild state of nature. The first recorded knowledge of Dexters in America is when more than two hundred Dexters were imported to the US between 1905 and 1915. In recent years there has been a worldwide surge of interest in Dexter cattle. They thrive in hot as well as cold climates and do well outdoors year round, needing only a windbreak, shelter and fresh water. Fertility is high and calves are dropped in the field without difficulty. They are dual purpose, being raised for both milk and meat. Dexters are also the perfect old-fashioned family cow. Pound for pound, Dexters cost less to get to the table, economically turning forage into rich milk and quality, lean meat.
    According to the guidelines, the ideal three year old Dexter bull measures 38 to 44 inches at the shoulder and weighs less than 1000 pounds. The ideal three year old Dexter cow measures between 36 to 42 inches at the shoulder, and weighs less than 750 pounds. There are two varieties of Dexters, short legged and long legged. Milk and beef production and other characteristics are generally the same for both types.
    Dexters come in Black, Red or Dun. Dexters are horned or polled, with some people preferring to dehorn them. A milking cow can produce more milk for its weight than any other breed. The daily yield averages 1 to 3 gallons per day with a butterfat content of 4 to 5 percent. Yields of cream up to one quart per gallon are possible. The cream can be skimmed for butter or ice cream.
    Beef animals mature in 18 to 24 months and result in small cuts of high quality lean meat, graded choice, with little waste. The expectable average dress out is 50 to 60 percent and the beef is slightly darker red than that of other breeds.

  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Life with Dexters

    Dexter cattle are excellent stock for the self sufficient homesteader for the reasons outlined by WD. Another breed of cattle to consider with similar characteristics to the Dexters is the "Lowline" breed of naturally polled miniature sized cattle. They have beneficial characteristics similar to the Dexters.

    Lowline cattle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Looks interesting. Is there any studies on meat yield/quality of the Lowlines or are they just pets?
  4. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    The low down on low lines.

    I have not kept them, and don't know much about their breeding and production, other than that because of their small size, they are of more utility than larger breeds on hobby farm sized properties.

    The conventional beef and dairy breeders and producers do not favour the breed because they would "contaminate" the gene pool of conventional beef breeds with cattle that tend to smaller size than is favourable for commercial exploitation. Their smaller size is apparently a consequence of breeding for smallness rather than relying on a dwarfish gene mutation.

    They were initially bred at a research station in Trangi in NSW Australia from breeding stock sourced from Canada.

    I'll see what I can dig up for you.

    Edit here is a link that will answer all the questions you might have about the breed. Have a look at the tab that says, "Beef"

    Australian Lowline Cattle Association

    "....Figures provided by one butcher, who has been in the business for some 43 years, gave yield figures of 76.13% and 74.21% for pure-bred Lowline steers. "

    Lowline cattle

    Hope you and all find this information useful

    Cheers from Chello
  5. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Helpful as always! I may add some to my ranch livestock, since cattle and goats can co-graze and be cohabitant in the same browse/pasture with maximum yield per acreage. Males it perfect for the small acreage pasture, allowing for better rotation. Any other information you may come across, feel free to pop me a message if you come across anything more. Thanks.
  6. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    You're welcome, Falcon

    Any suggestions about gun control too??? Huh...I didn''t think so : O


    Naw, seriously......I'm happy to help just about anyone when it comes to survival and prepping. The smaller breeds of cattle are less damaging to your land, and make transportation easier if you don't want to go the AI way. You could just about fit a lowline on the back of a moped....you'd just have to bulk up the suspension a bit I'd guess.

    There may be some value in small area homesteaders keeping rare breed stock on their holdings. Firstly it is a way of keeping rare breeds from becoming extinct, and thereby saving their genetic material for the world, Secondly, some of the rare breeds, may actually be hardier in survival situations, where small holders may not able to provide the high maintenance required of more commercial breeds used in resource intensive feed lots. Thirdly, being able to provide for niche market needs, may be more profitable for small holders than trying to compete with the big conglomerates in the meat packing game who rely on conventional stock breeds.

    The reason why Dexters and Lowlines have a higher meat to carcase dress-out ratio is that the bone mass of the miniature breeds is less.

    This is my 100th post.....now....on for the next century
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