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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well very excited. Our two house cows came yesterday and have settled in nicely. They are suspicous of us but do not run from us, but choose to stand at a safe distance and watch.

They are in calf for April and May to a limo. The aim will be to get them out of sync so that we can get milk all year round and breed one to a reg dexter next time and the other to a beef boy.

As they are de horned we will be running the sheep with them like they do in the UK.
 

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agmantoo
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"They are in calf for April and May to a limo." This is about as irresponsible as it gets. It certainly adds credibility to the statement that you can't fix stupid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
On the face of it I agree however they have thrown limo's before and I am not condoning it, and I have seen the off spring. I know that they calved without issue to them before.

However we could not resist them and rest assured they will not be put to anything so big under our ownership.

You cannot change what happened but they are now with us and thus a brighter future begins.
 

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I had a cow that came from a Dexter cow and a Shorthorn bull. She was tall for a dexter, but a lot shorter than the Shorthorns.

I also had a heifer calf that came from a Dexter cow and a Charolais bull. This is about as bad as it gets. Charolais cows have trouble having Charolais calves. They weigh 120# or more. The Dexter cow survived and so did the calf.

The mother has as much to do with the size of the calf as the sire, so it's not like the Dexter cow had to have a 120# calf. That would have certainly killed her. Her Dexter heritage apparently held the size of the calf down.

I'm 100% with you on not breeding them to anything that big again. Don't push your luck, huh?

Genebo
Paradise Farm
 

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Keeping the Dream Alive
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"They are in calf for April and May to a limo." This is about as irresponsible as it gets. It certainly adds credibility to the statement that you can't fix stupid.
Bet the original owners were happy to have sold them before they dropped their calves. Hope all goes well, Sengdroma. Dexter meat is about as good as it gets, especially from a dual-purpose breed like the Dexter: Any chance that you can get them both in calf to Dexter bulls next time round?
 

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Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate
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Cattle farming is a gamble, but not a crap shoot. No matter how hard you try to prevent loss, sometimes you still lose.
However, when you bet the long shot, take greater risks, you'd better be a real good gambler or have a lot of experience with calving and still expect losses.
Dexter cattle have calves in the 55 to 65 pound range. Limousin calves weigh around 85 pounds. Cross bred calves often weigh in the middle of each breed. I'd expect those calves will weigh at least 75 pounds. Since we don't know the history of that sire's calving ease, it could be much more. If these are first calf heifers, that goes against you, too.
For those that have never had to pull a normal sized calf, ten pounds doesn't sound like much. That difference greatly increases the chances that you'll have calving problems and lose the calf and possably the cow. Bull calves tend to weigh more, so will be the more likely one you'll have to take out in pieces.
What's done is done. Prepare now. Let your Vet know what you have, so he'll be prepared. Ask for his reccomendations. Locate a calf puller you can borrow at a moment's notice. Decide now if you will pay for a C-section or have the calf cut out. Keep the cows well exercised. Offer to help a local farmer pull a calf, so you'll be better prepared if you need to pull yours. An injection of the mineral Silinium increases the survival rate of both the cow and calf when injected a few weeks before she's due.
Life is full of learning experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks. Beef crosses are very popular here and in the UK. The farmer was not happy to get rid but had not choice - financial reasons he was gutted and has asked to visit them he was an old chap.

The sensible thing is to keep them lean like we do with the sheep they are only grass and hay fed not grain. This should aid with the birthing.

Vets round here think its not such an issue and sensible livestock management should help alot. They are long legged Dexter's and ultimately what will be will be.

We lost two lambs the other day that died through exposure. We are organic and each animal has 24 hr access to the outside. This first time mum decided to give birth in Ontario's ice storm and the twins did not make it, we pasture birth here and its luck of the draw. She had the choice to be dry but chose to be outside.

You can be there for the animals but we do not interfe too much.

And for all those who are about to moan about sheep giving birth this time of year ..... The ewes in lamb were rescued by us and saved from the slaughter house, they are all reg Katahdin - its part of what we do here - rescue centre so we will be taking on animals that are slightly higher risk then most homesteaders livestock but to us its the fighting chance they would not have got.
 

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How interesting. You rescue livestock, and then employ a program of " survival of the fittest".
From what I've read, mankind has been "interfering" with the birth of lambs for a few thousand years. That "do it on your own in the winter" was too steep of a learning curve for that first time ewe. When you rasise sheep there are times that you experience losses. However, the ice storm didn't kill those lambs.
To save a ewe from the slaughterhouse and then leave her out to lamb in the snow isn't an act of kindness nor is it a display of animal husbandry. Giving a ewe free choice to lamb inside or out in an ice storm is expecting too much from that ewe. Sheep are stupid and depend on the better choices of those that have dominion over them, you.
Is a mineral block with selenium within the bounds of your organic beliefs?
I offer this not to be hurtful to you. I say these things because I think it does more good to see things as they are than to wait awhile and offer my condolences for your losses. Sympathy doesn't save livestock. Knowledge does. I don't wish you luck, I wish you skill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok they do have mineral blocks, and I understand your position. There was no snow, we do not have any yet, and we have had calves and lambs before.

I state little interference as that is just that, I did not say no involvement. I did not say survial of the fittest, but ultimately if you want to be picky then we should all be breeding only those animals whose genetics are strong - but that is a different topic.

From your statement it would have been kinder to let her and the lambs die in slaughter.

Many people I know allow there animals the right to decide where to give birth - it will work for some animals and not for others.

We have had sheep for years and they are not stupid its an easy cop out to say that. This was an early ice storm that occured over night - even Environment Canada issued no warning as the system changed direction, and was gone after a couple of hours, we were soon back in the plus figures and have no frost.

We have lambing jugs and in a few weeks time will be putting the sheep to bed at night and letting them out in the morning - as any ewes give birth they will be left inside with the newborn to bond and keep warm. The other sheep are then put to bed in the next part and so on. We also have fleece dog coats to put on the newborns.

Do not jump to conclusions please. I appreciate that with a forum its difficult to see the other side - you can only read what you read.

We personally put our shep in lamb in the fall ready for birth in the Spring. These were not our sheep but were ones we took on. Like wise for the cows. If they survive which with vet assistance and neighbours we trust that they should then we will only put them to Dexters. They have thrown limo crosses before which were around 70lb each, and all did well, obviously with beef crosses we will be interfering with the births we would hate to lose them. We would do whatever was necc for them.

Like wise I am not being horrid to anyone, but just stating its hard to make an opinion based on what you read without seeing the actual set up or understanding the reasons behind something.
 

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Of the 28 Dexters we have weighed within 12 hours of birth the average is 48.78 pounds, with the heifers 45.58 pounds average and the bull calves 52.43 average. We have had to pull Dexter calves that weighed 47 pounds and less. I have the birthweight records from one of the largest Dexter breeders in the US and his 300+ calves birthweights average 42 pounds.

Good luck and God Bless with those calves coming.
 

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Guess it depends on the vets you use. My vets aren't that far from you and I'm pretty sure they'd throttle anybody that bred Dexters to a limo.
 

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My aren't people here quick to tar and feather a person. She said she bought them already in calf.

I am not sure if she bought them from where I think she bought them but if she did, they are rather on the large size for Dexters.

I bought a registered 40inch dexter from the same man (assuming I am correct as to their origins) who was NOT supposed to be in calf but who had been having beef cross calves for the last 7 yrs. She had a dead calf on March 14 and I got her home here on April 4 and didn't purchase a bull until mid. June and this cow was palpated to be 5.5 months in calf in Sept. So definitely got bred on the first cycle by his Limo bull. The cow looks like a hippo and we decided to bring her in the barn early and monitor her. I don't want to lose the cow so we will watch her closely and be there to assist if need be. Thats what we do with all our Dexters anyways. If they need our assistance we will be there.
 

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Whew. So this guy regularly breeds his Dexters to a Limo bull? Red Dexters are so much rarer and more pricey than black and dun I'm having a hard time getting my head around all of this. In fact, I would question whether these are really red cows at all and not dun since anyone dumb enough to be breeding them to a Limo probably wouldn't want to pay the top dollar for red and then abuse them this way. Why wouldn't he just stick with a Dexter bull and breed them to Limo cows or whatever darnfangled large breed he wants crosses out of? Less expense all around with safer and same results.
 
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