dexter question

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Christina R., Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    720
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Location:
    Northern Arizona
    I don;t think I'm ready for another cow yet (I think maybe in the spring), but we have the chance to buy a dexter heifer. Here's where I want your opinion, she is a short leg dexter. I always thought I wanted a long leg dexter, but wanted to see if there was a valid reason why. I know I'd have to breed a long leg to her to prevent bulldog calves, but if I was diligent in that would it be okay to get a short leg? Would I have to be careful that the long leg bull did not have any short leg genes in his lineage? Thanks for setting me straight on this.

    (On a very exciting personal note... 3 days to my beautiful 26 year old daughter's wedding!!!!)
     
  2. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    486
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    If you just take care to breed a long leg bull to that short leg heifer ( or cow in the future ) the odds of getting a bull dog calf are reduced to almost zero. I had a short legged cow, we sold her this spring but she produced several very nice calves for us from a long legged bull.

    Oh and congratulations on the upcoming wedding!

    Check out www.dakodan.net for more Dexter info than you will ever want...haha.
     

  3. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    704
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Western NY
    I guess you have to start out by asking yourself if you want a Chondrodysplasia free herd or not, if you do, then don't get the Chondro. carrier. That may be all it comes down to, a herd that carries a lethal genetic gene or not. You have to be the one that decides that. You have to be the one (if you go with the carrier animal) that explains to EVERY person you sell an animal to that you are selling them an animal that carries a lethal genetic gene, and that they can produce a calf that will be born dead if they are not careful in their breeding choices.

    Carol
     
  4. Tiffin

    Tiffin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    403
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Location:
    Central New York
    Christina, I think you're on the right track. The only other thing is consider AI to be more assured of getting a "bull dog" free semen. Even though I have a long leg Dexter heifer, I'm using AI in September to breed her.
    By the way, I'm sure you will love the Dexters. I have the heifer, two steers and getting two more heifers in August. Love them. So, easy, curious, love to be petted. Good luck.
     
  5. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,538
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Location:
    Victoria Australia
    Half our herd are carriers and the other half non-carriers with a couple of Red polls thrown in. Half are poll and the other half horned. I thought we wanted a non-carrier herd...but I look at our herd now and I will never get rid of our short legs. They are our favorites...they are the ones doing the best in our drought....their calves from last year are little bricks. They are due to calve next month. Our first year we got a Bulldog and I dont wish that on anyone....but it was from a grandson grandmother mating....none of the other shortys had one. But since then I make sure all the bulls we use are "verified non-carriers"....cant go wrong. YOu will love Dexters like the rest of us Dexter owners. Our aim to have some of each color. Cheers.
     
  6. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

    Messages:
    3,516
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    AR (ozarks)
    Cant wait till I get home and get some Dexter cows. They sound wonderful.
     
  7. Shinsan

    Shinsan Keeping the Dream Alive

    Messages:
    1,270
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Hunter Valley NSW AUSTRALIA
    Sorry, but can't agree with Hammer4 that breeding a long leg bull to your heifer will lessen the chance of producing a bull-dog calf: The Chondodysplasia gene can be carried by both types.
    Dexters are the only cattle in Australia that are required to be identified by DNA testing prior to being registered, and a test has also been developed to determine if an animal carries the chondo, gene. Don't know if it's available in the U.S. yet, though I think it would be. I can make enquiries if you'd like me to.

    Shazza, just noticed in your post that you're also in OZ - Which part of Victoria are you in? I'm originally from the Gippsland region, (Inverloch), but now live in the Lower Hunter Valley region of NSW. At the moment our property is underwater and needs some serious drainage work to be carried out, as well as new fencing put in. When that's done I'm looking to buy a red, long legged, naturally polled pregnant Dexter cow with a calf at foot.
     
  8. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,538
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Location:
    Victoria Australia
    We are in Central Vic Shinsan. And I am afraid I will have to disagree with you too....if you always put a "verified non carrier" to your short legged carrier cows you will NEVER get a Bulldog calf....but the bull must have been tested to be a proven non-carrier. You will get 50/50 short or long leg calves but no bulldogs.
    Wish we had some of that water of yours Shinsan....still a tad dry here. Cheers.
     
  9. Shinsan

    Shinsan Keeping the Dream Alive

    Messages:
    1,270
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Hunter Valley NSW AUSTRALIA
    Yeh, sorry Shazza, probably didn't make myself too clear. You're right of course about putting a verified non-carrier bull to a verified non-carier cow or heifer. What I meant was that the mere fact that a bull is long legged doesn't preclude it having and passing on the chondo. gene. As he didn't mention verification, Hammer4's post seemed to imply that was the case.

    Had to have a laugh to myself when I read "you will get 50/50 short or long legged calves.......": Had a sudden mental picture of a calf with two short legs at the front and two long legs at the rear or vice versus, or perhaps different on each side. Daughter thought that was being cruel.
    (I occasionally have these flippant moments, at which time I expect to be 'treated with ignore', as a friend once said.)

    And as for our excess water - you're welcome to it: We've just had a year's work on our vegie gardens washed away. Ah well, back to the drawing board.
    Regards,
    Shin
     
  10. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    704
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Western NY
    Yeah that wording thing in Dexters does get confusing, I'm sure hammer meant Non Carrier, it's just that we tend to say Long Leg over here, it's something we should all change I suppose and say Carrier or Non Carrier.

    Shin, you said "naturally polled" ? Do you just mean polled as opposed to dehorned or do you mean something else?

    By the way, we do have the Chondro test over here in the USA.

    Carol
     
  11. Shinsan

    Shinsan Keeping the Dream Alive

    Messages:
    1,270
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Hunter Valley NSW AUSTRALIA
    Thanks Carol.

    Yes, there certainly are a lot of terms that are used differently in OZ and the U.S.
    Down here we have both long legged and short legged Irish Dexters, either of which can be carriers of the Chondo gene. (I have to use the term Irish Dexters so's not to upset a pedantic friend of mine.)

    I used the term "naturally polled" as there are some here that think that dehorning a calf means that they are then "polled". Personally, I always thought that polled meant that the calf was actually born without horns - am I correct in that belief?

    BTW, my wife is not an animal lover by any stretch, but after my three daughters and I dragged her to a Dexter show and she met the critters, we got the go-ahead to prepare a paddock and get a couple. Haw! She doesn't know what she's let herself in for, but I can see an up and coming convert to the cause.

    Regards,
    Shin
     
  12. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    704
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Western NY
    Shin,
    when those baby Dexters get born the wife will be putty in your hands, LOL!!! Seriously though, you can't help but love these little cows.
    Yes we have people here that think de horned is also the same as polled, but yes, polled means born hornless here to.
    Good luck with your Dexters, hope you have years of fun,

    Carol
     
  13. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    486
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    I was thinking of the data I had seen that showed that the majority ( 80% or more ) of carriers are short legged, I think there were a very few long legged carriers in the results...but as I said, my statement to breed long legged ( most likely non carrier ) to short legged ( possibly carrier ) would reduce ( not eliminate ) the chances of a bull dog calf.

    Yes, the DNA tests are available over here, our bull is a tested non carrier.
     
  14. Shinsan

    Shinsan Keeping the Dream Alive

    Messages:
    1,270
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Hunter Valley NSW AUSTRALIA
    Hello Hammer4

    Thanks for that info....I'd never seen it before....With an 80% majority it's not surprising that people assume that the short legged Dexter is the villian in the play!
    How many Dexters do you run? I was advised against having my own bull unless I had a herd big enough to require one on hand, but we've only got two acres so it's small scale for now.

    Regards,
    Shin
     
  15. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    486
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    Oh, we have a big herd right now...hmm, let me see.

    1 Heifer
    1 Bull
    --------
    2 Total

    Yep, I guess that's it, haha.

    We had some a growing herd of unregistered Dexters and sold those, we are slowly buying some registered animals.

    I know what you mean about not keeping a bull if you have just a few head, but we had the bull ( who is registered ) already and used him with the unregistered Dexters.

    I don't figure the bull eats that much....lol.