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Livestock/Horses Cows, sheep, pigs, goats, llamas, and other four-legged friends.

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  #1  
Old 04-06-2014, 01:57 AM
eddiebo Male eddiebo is offline
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Default Anyone raise Dexter cattle ?

We have a 6 acre homestead/farm that we are developing, and are considering a few head of small breed of cattle to raise for meat, and milk. Can anyone here tell us from experience about the Dexters or similar sized breeds?
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2014, 03:45 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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Dexters are great, much calmer and docile than a Jersey for instance, though I love jerseys.
I milked one and got two gallons a day, with a calf on her. Great little cows.
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:18 PM
eddiebo Male eddiebo is offline
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Bookwormom are they pricey?
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Old 04-06-2014, 07:54 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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Check around, a friend of mine just sold two for 800 each. She did not care for cows milk. We sold one for 800 also, and she was bred.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:18 PM
eddiebo Male eddiebo is offline
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$800 and bred? Awesome buy !!!
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:07 PM
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800 seems to be the average Craig's List price around my area also.

I'm thinking that once the goats clear enough of the property to get some decent grass pasture established that I would like to keep Dexters too. I understand that they are calm, gentle and easy to manage and handle--just what an old man needs.

JVC
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2014, 05:14 PM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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Looking on Wikipedia, it is saying they originally came from south west Ireland...

I believe someone on the forum, a considerable time ago, was saying they got some and had good luck with them... And if I remember right, they were from a state that has significant winter.... Not Wisconsin brutal winter maybe, but significant.....

Good luck
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  #8  
Old 11-18-2014, 05:03 PM
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Few had them and dexter/ jersey crosses....love them! They were great milkers and have lots of personality. Great beef, also....easy keepers, sturdy, and healthy in general. We sold ours and moved to South America - we are back and I miss my little cows sooo much!
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Old 11-18-2014, 05:25 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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Amaranthine you moved to south america? Please tell about it.

we are trying to have our dextr bull breed our jersey cow and he just is too short. she gets so impatient with him.

I would like to sell the Jersey and get another Dexter. we had most of our herd die on us. The vet could not figure it out. We have been searching and searching. we are wondering if they ate perilla mint, which has been proliferating in the area and will kill cattle. It may have been in a batch of hay. It has been growing thick along the edge of the woods. I may be wrong. It was a big loss. It killed my two favorites, buttercup and Molly. the sweetest little cows you ever saw.
they followed behind me.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:22 PM
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Bookwormmom, 2 yrs ago, we moved to Cuenca Ecuador (my fave place in the world!) and after having some visa issues, moved to Antigua Guatemala, intending in both places to locate a small finca to rent and doing ministry work, but my father passed away in Guatemala. We (my 7 kids and I ) lost heart after that and returned a few months ago. We finally found a small farm to rent here in NM and are starting over again..
Sorry about your cows! Your Dexter can breed the Jersey, tho - we bought a Dexter bull from a man in Farmington, Nm who had a buffalo cow that was accidentally bred by his dexter bull! The resultant calf was strange looking and actually about 6" taller than the cow! It was awesome, tho. ( and a fluke, I know!)
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:40 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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Oh I know he could if he could reach up that hi. I have been nagging the guys to fix some kind of ramp for him to stand on, but then she won't stand in front of it. It is a royal pain.
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  #12  
Old 12-04-2014, 11:44 AM
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Everything I have read says Dexters are good hardy cattle in a much smaller package. One person in NC compared their Dexters to goats as they will eat nearly anything.
I did find a woman who posted on her blog about how terrible Dexters were. After a few counter-posts, she deleted her OP. Go figure!
I am trying to lock on two for next year right now.
Here is hoping!
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2014, 05:58 PM
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I may have two Dexters locked on for next year. Going out to visit the farm, check out the cattle, and ask a lot of questions next week.
Will post my findings.
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  #14  
Old 12-28-2014, 10:18 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMonolith View Post
I may have two Dexters locked on for next year. Going out to visit the farm, check out the cattle, and ask a lot of questions next week.
Will post my findings.

great, hope things go well.
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2014, 10:23 PM
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I'd recommend reading Granny Miller's blog on her experience with Dexters before you make a final decision:

http://www.granny-miller.com/
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  #16  
Old 12-30-2014, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenBC View Post
I'd recommend reading Granny Miller's blog on her experience with Dexters before you make a final decision:

http://www.granny-miller.com/
Yes, I have seen her blog when doing research.
I also noticed she closed the comments section when she started getting comments from other Dexter owners, critical of her post.
If I found a common trend, posted by several or more other Dexter cattle ranchers, then I would be very questionable of the breed.
However, her one post is the only real negative observation or comments on Dexters I have found.
I would be much interested if you know of more scientific findings.
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  #17  
Old 12-31-2014, 10:15 AM
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I viewed, up close, twelve out of 100 Dexters.
Did not see any indications of bad feet.
I asked the owner about genetic diseases, defects or anomalies. Chondrodysplasia was the only one he mentioned. Information on chondrodysplasia can be found here: http://www.dextercattle.org/adca/adc...dysplasia.html
Otherwise I found the Dexters to be a good looking, small cattle.
I still need to get some infrastructure built before I can take delivery of them.
Of course I just got about eight to ten inches of snow.
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  #18  
Old 02-09-2015, 09:05 PM
crofter Male crofter is offline
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I, too, am very interested in Dexters. For those who own them, I have a couple of questions:

1. I have read that goats don't do well alone, but it is OK to keep one cow. Is that true? Dirk van Loon in "The Family Cow" seems to indicate that it is, but I don't know anyone with just one cow.

2. I have heard a figure of two acres per cow for larger cows. Assuming that I don't want to buy a LOT of hay, how much land is required to keep a Dexter happy?

I don't own a lot of land, but I have some pasture land close by that I may be able to lease, so it might be doable...
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  #19  
Old 02-09-2015, 10:25 PM
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I'd still want a couple of acres or more for a single Dexter cow

Those estimates are always for good, established pastures, and in ideal conditions

Not all soils are equal, and a single dry spell can kill all the grass

You'll have to figure on feeding hay or other forage for 3-4 months each year

Herd animals are always happier when NOT alone
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  #20  
Old 02-10-2015, 06:09 PM
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I agree with BFF: the hay produced by one acre of good pasture will feed one head for a year, but that's different from putting the cow on the pasture. The grass wouldn't regrow well enough to keep the cow fed thru the year. You'd need a second plot of pasture so you could do rotational grazing, allowing each plot to regrow after each period of use and still allow some hay to be made to get you thru the winter.

A single cow won't commit suicide without a partner, but herd animals are less stressed if they have company. Even a companion goat or mini-horse would suffice if a second cow is inconvenient. If you're keeping the cow to supply beef, remember it'll take 18-22 months to get it up to weight and the yield will probably last you less than that, so you'd need to have more than one in the pipeline to keep you supplied.

Last edited by doc; 02-10-2015 at 06:14 PM.
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