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  #1  
Old 05/05/12, 06:52 AM
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Angus Dexter Cross

Is anyone here pursuing a Dexter / Angus breeding program?

Are you Dexter Bull on Angus Cow? Or, other way around??

How has your birthing worked out? How many times do you assist? 1 out 10, 1 out of 100, or never ever?

Please tell me how things are going. Any regrets?

How’s the beef on the table? What are your customers saying about taste and tenderness?


Thanks

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  #2  
Old 05/05/12, 07:16 AM
 
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I've got no experience with Dexters, but why even bother with trying something like this?

If I had a herd of Dexter cows and I used a LBW Angus bull, I would worry about pulling a bunch of calves and having losing a few cows. I'd be better off selling the Dexters to someone else that actually wants straight-bred Dexters and buying a different breed.

If I had some Angus cows, it would be easier to find a good moderate-sized Angus bull to breed them than a Dexter bull. And, the calves would probably be worth more as weaned calves, replacements, and beef.

If a severe drought hit and I had to start selling cows, a straight Angus or a black baldy cow should be more valuable than a Dexter or an Angus/Dexter cross cow.

How would I raise replacements? Or, would I need to buy some more Dexter cows to produce those Dexter/Angus calves?

A good moderate-sized Angus, Hereford, or Red Angus cow herd with a LBW Angus bull (which should be easy to find and buy) would give you more options. Sell some weaned calves, raise your own replacements, have a better market for cull cows, and still have the option to raise beef from part of your calf crop.

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  #3  
Old 05/05/12, 08:12 AM
 
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Perhaps genebo will chime in. He has a friend who quite successfully uses a Dexter bull on his Angus cows. Most will advise you NOT to use an Angus bull on Dexter cows...just asking for trouble.

ramiller5675 raises some good points.

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Old 05/05/12, 09:32 AM
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My friend doesn't post on the boards, but I can tell you a lot about his operation.

He has used a Dexter bull over Angus cows to get "Dangus" calves for several years. Never a birthing problem.

It all started over a Dexter cross bull calf he served at a political gathering. The people raved over the beef. I sold a couple of Dexter bulls to people who tasted him and wanted to raise their own such beef and he got a long, loyal customer list.

He didn't think the pure Dexter calves were big enough, so he crossed his Dexter bull with every breed he had on the place: Charolais/Hereford, Highland, Devon and Angus. They all tasted good, with the Dexter taste and tenderness. The Angus calves were the biggest, so he bought 30 Angus cows and went into business.

He sold every calf he could raise to his customer list except for a few times when his timing wasn't just right. Then he took his beef animals to market.

With Angus mothers, all the calves were polled and had black hides. They even met the proper description of an Angus: at least 1/2 Angus and black hide. They were in great condition and brought good prices, although not as much as he got in private sales. This was just an escape route he had for unsold calves.

Pure Angus steers didn't fatten and finish as well on grass as the Dangus. Angus weighed 1200# at market age while the Dangus weighed 900-1000#. The Dangus graded higher, though, and he always put pure Dexter or Dangus in his freezer.

His Dexter bull passed on and he switched to a Devon bull. That didn't last long. After pulling calves and losing some, he switched to a "miniature" Devon bull. It didn't help. The calves were still too big and he still pulled too many.

He even tried a Jersey bull, but that didn't work.

This year he went back to a Dexter bull. No calves yet.

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  #5  
Old 05/05/12, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ramiller5675 View Post
I've got no experience with Dexters, but why even bother with trying something like this?

If I had a herd of Dexter cows and I used a LBW Angus bull, I would worry about pulling a bunch of calves and having losing a few cows. I'd be better off selling the Dexters to someone else that actually wants straight-bred Dexters and buying a different breed.

If I had some Angus cows, it would be easier to find a good moderate-sized Angus bull to breed them than a Dexter bull. And, the calves would probably be worth more as weaned calves, replacements, and beef.

If a severe drought hit and I had to start selling cows, a straight Angus or a black baldy cow should be more valuable than a Dexter or an Angus/Dexter cross cow.

How would I raise replacements? Or, would I need to buy some more Dexter cows to produce those Dexter/Angus calves?

A good moderate-sized Angus, Hereford, or Red Angus cow herd with a LBW Angus bull (which should be easy to find and buy) would give you more options. Sell some weaned calves, raise your own replacements, have a better market for cull cows, and still have the option to raise beef from part of your calf crop.
You seem a little irritated.
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  #6  
Old 05/05/12, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by genebo View Post
My friend doesn't post on the boards, but I can tell you a lot about his operation.

He has used a Dexter bull over Angus cows to get "Dangus" calves for several years. Never a birthing problem.

It all started over a Dexter cross bull calf he served at a political gathering. The people raved over the beef. I sold a couple of Dexter bulls to people who tasted him and wanted to raise their own such beef and he got a long, loyal customer list.

He didn't think the pure Dexter calves were big enough, so he crossed his Dexter bull with every breed he had on the place: Charolais/Hereford, Highland, Devon and Angus. They all tasted good, with the Dexter taste and tenderness. The Angus calves were the biggest, so he bought 30 Angus cows and went into business.

He sold every calf he could raise to his customer list except for a few times when his timing wasn't just right. Then he took his beef animals to market.

With Angus mothers, all the calves were polled and had black hides. They even met the proper description of an Angus: at least 1/2 Angus and black hide. They were in great condition and brought good prices, although not as much as he got in private sales. This was just an escape route he had for unsold calves.

Pure Angus steers didn't fatten and finish as well on grass as the Dangus. Angus weighed 1200# at market age while the Dangus weighed 900-1000#. The Dangus graded higher, though, and he always put pure Dexter or Dangus in his freezer.

His Dexter bull passed on and he switched to a Devon bull. That didn't last long. After pulling calves and losing some, he switched to a "miniature" Devon bull. It didn't help. The calves were still too big and he still pulled too many.

He even tried a Jersey bull, but that didn't work.

This year he went back to a Dexter bull. No calves yet.
I have heard stories like this before. Raising these seems to a good way to sell for freezer beef. It also seems to bring about a good hybrid.

Hopefully we will hear a few more Dangus success stories.
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  #7  
Old 05/05/12, 12:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HDRider View Post
You seem a little irritated.
Why would you say that?

Everything I commented about should be considered by someone who is thinking about using a Dexter bull with a set of Angus cows.

I hate to pull calves, which I'll bet is pretty common with an Angus bull and a Dexter cow.

I want to make a profit on the cattle I raise, it seems like it would be harder to make money with a Dexter/Angus cross calf.

It doesn't irritate me at all if someone thinks differently.
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Old 05/05/12, 12:44 PM
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It seem to me (granted, I am a backyard cow novice) that a good dexter should be truly dual purpose-- passable beef, passable dairy.

Why wouldn't you breed all the good qualities from a dexter bull into a quality beef cow if you want efficient beef, or breed that same bull into a jersey cow if you desire a more efficient dairy animal?
Seems perfectly logical a jump to me.

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  #9  
Old 05/05/12, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ramiller5675 View Post
Why would you say that?

Everything I commented about should be considered by someone who is thinking about using a Dexter bull with a set of Angus cows.

I hate to pull calves, which I'll bet is pretty common with an Angus bull and a Dexter cow.

I want to make a profit on the cattle I raise, it seems like it would be harder to make money with a Dexter/Angus cross calf.

It doesn't irritate me at all if someone thinks differently.
If you will notice my original post, I lead off saying Dexter bull on Angus cow for the very reason you said, small bull on big cow means better calving ease.

Now I just want to hear from people that do it.
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Old 05/05/12, 01:07 PM
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Most people who are in the beef cattle business sell their calves by the pound.
It isn't very good business sense to breed for a smaller calf. If you sell by the pound you want a larger animal.
Dexters are for those who don't have much experience and believe some of the sales talk given by those with dexters to sell. Much like the emu farmers.

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Old 05/05/12, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by pancho View Post
Most people who are in the beef cattle business sell their calves by the pound.
It isn't very good business sense to breed for a smaller calf. If you sell by the pound you want a larger animal.
Dexters are for those who don't have much experience and believe some of the sales talk given by those with dexters to sell. Much like the emu farmers.
So you are saying the bigger the better? How big is too big?

Again, if one is selling mostly to folks that want to fill a home freezer , with a whole or half, smaller might work better for them.

Plus, if that smaller bull is on a large cow, just how small do you think a slaughter animal might weigh? Maybe 700# to 1,000#? Is that too small??

I would also think that combo would produce incredible calving ease, and Dexter are well known for their high milk production.

Calving ease & Good milk production sounds like a good thing, along with that good ole hybrid vigor of the cross.
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Old 05/05/12, 01:49 PM
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So you are saying the bigger the better? How big is too big?

Again, if one is selling mostly to folks that want to fill a home freezer , with a whole or half, smaller might work better for them.

Plus, if that smaller bull is on a large cow, just how small do you think a slaughter animal might weigh? Maybe 700# to 1,000#? Is that too small??

I would also think that combo would produce incredible calving ease, and Dexter are well known for their high milk production.

Calving ease & Good milk production sounds like a good thing, along with that good ole hybrid vigor of the cross.
You are looking for a niche market. Notice I said people who are in the beef cattle business.
People who raise cattle for a hobby can afford to do what they want. Those who are really in the business have to do what is best for the business. Weaning smaller calves is bad business.
People in the beef cattle business do not have many problems with calving. Again, people who are in it for a hobby do not take the time to learn the business. They can breed for smaller calves and a niche market.
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Old 05/05/12, 02:24 PM
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Within a reasonable weight range, smaller calves not only don't hurt your profit, they boost it. Ranchers need to stop thinking of pounds produced per cow and start thinking of pounds produced per unit of land. Smaller cattle are more efficient producers, so while the income per calf is lower, the number of calves sold more than offsets that.

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Old 05/05/12, 02:29 PM
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You are looking for a niche market. Notice I said people who are in the beef cattle business.
People who raise cattle for a hobby can afford to do what they want. Those who are really in the business have to do what is best for the business. Weaning smaller calves is bad business.
People in the beef cattle business do not have many problems with calving. Again, people who are in it for a hobby do not take the time to learn the business. They can breed for smaller calves and a niche market.
Maybe I forgot what board I was on, or maybe you should be schoolin' on the cattle biz on Cattle Today follow Cattle Forum & Cattle Discussion Boards at Cattle Today
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Old 05/05/12, 02:51 PM
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I wanted to quote something from Stockman Grass Farmer - March 2010 Front page

"Using smaller phenotype cows, pasture stockpiling and rotational grazing, per cow profits increased from a loss of $191 in 20001 to a profit of $252 in 2008. A different of $444 per cow!"

Now I am no expert, just trying to learn from those that are, those with experiences with the subject of my post.

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Old 05/05/12, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
Within a reasonable weight range, smaller calves not only don't hurt your profit, they boost it. Ranchers need to stop thinking of pounds produced per cow and start thinking of pounds produced per unit of land. Smaller cattle are more efficient producers, so while the income per calf is lower, the number of calves sold more than offsets that.

This makes no sense to me you will still have a herd of ANGUS COWS eating the grass and breeding them to a dexter bull which will give you smaller calves but the angus cows will still be needing the same amount of acres but producing a smaller calf


with your formula how will that make more profit ...
.thinking of pounds produced per unit of land.


..the angus cows will need same amount of land raising a 500 pound dexter cross as a 700 pound full angus.....only difference would be what the calfs eat....plus we all know what will bring more when sold at price per pound even off the farm
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Old 05/05/12, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by HDRider View Post
I wanted to quote something from Stockman Grass Farmer - March 2010 Front page

"Using smaller phenotype cows, pasture stockpiling and rotational grazing, per cow profits increased from a loss of $191 in 20001 to a profit of $252 in 2008. A different of $444 per cow!"

Now I am no expert, just trying to learn from those that are, those with experiences with the subject of my post.
THIS ONE LINK WILL EXPLAIN THAT doing nothing to the farm at all prices of beef in 2001 and prices in 2008

Beef price chart, 2000-2011
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Old 05/05/12, 03:19 PM
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When I was shopping dexters I was more concerned about the dairy side than the beefer side.... but I seem to recall the dexter breed is known to keep fine condition on light feed.

As a beef rancher, your profit margin isn't only made in the price per pound, but your FEED conversion... If it takes less grain or grass to make a pound of beef, it makes better economic sense no matter if the animal's frame is smaller or larger.

It may not make fiscal sense to a breeder who's business is feeding angus cows to sell the weaned calves at a per pound price because to that breeder it's the same amount of work and expense as a heavier calf...

But to a Beef Rancher who brings a steer up to slaughter weight, the feed conversion of a dexter hybrid is a lot more advantageous.

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Old 05/05/12, 03:23 PM
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For many years farmers worked to raise the size of weaning calves.
Selective breeding for larger calves.
It is simple math.
If you are selling by the pound a larger calf will bring more.
Anyone who is in the business can do simple math.
Those who have never been in the business can come up with all kinds of web sites that will prove a smaller calf is more profitable but simple math shows that is false.

For a hobby it is possible to breed any way you want. Making a profit is not that important. If your livelyhood depends on making a profit you want a larger calf to sell.

People tend to forget and think a hobby is the same as a business.

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Old 05/05/12, 03:57 PM
 
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For the buyer you must produce what the buyer wants at good value.

For the seller you need to produce what the buyer wants with the best net margin feasible for the seller.

IMO that does not exist in a Dexter. The market is too small.

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