Dexter Cattle are becoming more and more prominent on the smaller farms and homesteads. Dexter cattle are the smallest of the European cattle breeds, being about half the size of a traditional Hereford and about one third the size of a Holstein milking cow.They consume less food and space per head of cattle. They are fast becoming the cattle of choice in the smaller homesteads.
The Dexter cow originated in Ireland and at one time was considered rare. The Dexter cattle breed are actually a 3 purpose breed. They are used for milk, meat and in some regions they are used like oxen! They are very versatile and no doubt this leads to them being popular in North America, South Africa, Australia, and much of Europe.
The Dexter cow produces milk similar to the Jersey cow. The butterfat is about 4% which is relatively high! You should get 2 -2.5 gallons a day from your Dexter cow.
Dexter cows make good mothers and will hide their calves at birth if there is any cover for them to be had. They will produce enough milk to feed 3-5 calves a day and like some chickens who are broody will hatch and raise other hens eggs, the Dexter cow will on many occasions allow other calves from the herd feed! Because the Dexter cow has an easy birth and because of its size, the bull has become a desired breeding bull. Dexter cattle are typically horned although the was a strain bred without them.
Raising your own Dexter cattle and having your own organic food sure beats buying government regulated foods and never knowing how or where your beef your are eating is raised! These Dexter cattle are cheaper and easier to raise! With the price of milk and meat on the rise, homesteaders are opting to raise their own! They are for the most part child friendly also!
Another great attribute of this Dexter Breed is that when butchered it will normally fit into a freezer and you don’t have the worry of storing beef or sharing it with someone else. Of course, there are those who buy the Dexter Cattle solely for pets! They are very adaptive with their horns and rarely ever damage or injure anything or anyone with them.
Deter Cattle tend to have a long life and have been know to have calves at 18 – 19 years old. They also adapt well and can be found in pretty much every state in the union! The Dexter Cattle is a Registered Breed also! They are not miniature cattle as some may think.
The growth in interest in low line cattle is attributed to the increasing demand for lifestyle blocks, not only in Australia but also overseas. There are more small farms in Australia than there are large and this trend is increasing as more and more larger farms are subdivided into smaller parcels.The book was written in response to the many questions the author was asked by those seeking to purchase small cattle. It is these questions that form the basis of this practical and easy to understand book.
Small Cattle for Small Farms covers a broad range of topics including what breeds are available, how to select your stock and care for them, methods of identification, and government requirements for land and stock owners.
Dexter Cattle: A Breeder’s Notebook is a collection of notes and photo illustrations on the history, selective breeding, management, and genetics of Dexter Cattle. The information has been gathered over twenty years of Dexter breeding.
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