Dexter questions

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Judith, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. Judith

    Judith Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    Has anyone used Dexter cattle-X's as a beef breed? Are there two types of Dexter? Dairy and beef or just the one type
  2. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2005
    Bristol, ny
    Dexters are used for first time heifers because of their smaller size. It's easier birthing for the heifer. Dexters are mainly a beef breed unless you are looking for milking lines. Some also use them as oxen. Virtually all of the so called miniature breeds are crossed with Dexters at some point to get them smaller. Not all of the offspring from those crossings will be smaller however. In my opinion; and it's only an opinion, those miniature breeds aren't really so much a breed, as a novelty. I doubt that they can be bred true. I'm not referring to Dexters that way as they are a true breed, and not miniatures. They have been around for a long time and have proven their usefulness to many for generations on many continents.

  3. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2003
    Ouachitas, AR
    Dexter's are a multi-purpose breed but if you want milk it's better to get one thta comes form good dairy lines. She'll have a better milk capacity. You'll still get good beef though. We're doing Dexter Highland crosses this year an the calves are definately showing signs of being bigger and beefier than their dexter mothers but not hairy and so more heat tolerant than their father our Highland bull. :)
    I've seen Dexters crossed with quite a few breeds. You'll get a nice smaller size bef calf out of just Dexters though.
  4. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

    Dec 29, 2002
    Our favorite beef was a cross between our Dexter cow and one of our Belted Galloway bull. The calf was black with one half of a white strip.

    Dexters are intended as a multi purpose breed that doesn't produce a lot of milk. They're bred for beef, oxen and limited milk. I'd hate to see them pushed for milk when there are so many dairy breeds. At peak, we get 2.5 gallons a day. That's more than we use so we've always left the calf with the cow except when we need milk. Then the calf and cow are separated at night, we milk for what we need in the morning, leave the rest for the calf, and turn them out together.

    There are two kinds of Dexters - long legged and short legged.