Irish Cows?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Morning Owl, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. Morning Owl

    Morning Owl Well-Known Member

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    Does any one know any thing about Dexter Cows? Does their milk taste the same as full sized cows? I was thinking about get one because I like the size. I've had alot of people tell me to get a goat, but I don't like the taste of goat milk. Any advise?
     
  2. Gideon's War

    Gideon's War Well-Known Member

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    I would do a search (hit the button at the top of your screen) for dexter's. Alot of info has been posted here.
     

  3. Timberline

    Timberline Keeper of the Cow

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    The milk from our Dexters tastes like other cows' milk, it's got a lot cream content, like Jersey milk. It's wonderful!
     
  4. Morning Owl

    Morning Owl Well-Known Member

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    How about Highland cows? Does any one know any thing about them?
     
  5. dodgewc

    dodgewc Well-Known Member

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    Highlands are a beef breed, aren't they? Dexters, from what I've heard , have a pretty high butterfat content. ( when bred as dairy) So if you want milk, make sure you are getting dairy type Dexters. Dexters are smaller and easier to handle. (for newbies like me) I don't personally have them, they are on my brother's farm (which I partake in) We will get some highlands soon, but for the beef. From what I have seen so far, you can't go wrong with a dairy Dexter if you want milk, but it is pricey. A jersey is a good bet , a lot cheaper too.
     
  6. Slev

    Slev Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hey, as much as I love my Dexter, I'd hate for you to rule out goat milk because of the taste. If you've tried it and it's "goatie" chances are something else is wrong, (or you still have the male goat around?) we kept a couple of goats for a friend over winter, and it really didn't smell goatie at all... My Dexter is bred, (I hope) so next spring I'll let you know how my Dexter milk tastes.....
     
  7. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    I've had Dexters for 7-8 years. They are a dual purpose animal excellent for a homestead family. They range from 1.5 to 2.5 gallons of milk a day. When I needed milk for the house (no longer milking) I separated cow and calf at night, milked what I needed and turned them out for the day. The milk tastes good as long as they're not browsing on something that will misflavor the milk. Cows can easily be bred until they're 15 or so. They deliver easily. There's no dealing with milk fever like the heavy milking breeds we've bred problems into. I hope that isn't done with Dexters as people try to make them heavier milk producers than they're meant to be.

    I'd rather milk a dozen goats than one cow. My arms and hands ached for weeks when I first started hand milking. The walls of a cow's teats are much thicker than a goat's teats. It takes more muscle. Milking a half dozen goats twice a day didn't give me the strength needed for the cow. My hands and arms ached for a while. I like cow milk much better than goat milk though so it was worth it.

    Dexters will browse as well as graze. We used them with goats and Highlands to clear five acres of brush in the woods.

    Dexters are an excellent beef breed. The meat is dark red and lower in cholesterol. We sent our spring-born bulls to the butcher in November or December. Best meat we've raised. We crossed with a Belted Galloway one year. That was also excellent (always got bull calves).

    If you don't need a huge ox look at Dexters. At 1000 pounds, which is breed standard, they're much smaller than other breeds.

    Don't let the small size let you get too comfortable around Dexters. Small doesn't mean safe. It doesn't necessarily mean safer either. Most but not all Dexters are mellow. I have only one now. She's pushy and definitely not a beginner's cow. I was a beginner when I got her and she's taught me a lot. The man who sold her to me saw a sucker coming.

    They're expensive upfront but they're hardy. We've never had a health problem in any of our Dexters. I think they make up for the price in savings in vet care, meds and a lot of work. If we hadn't changed the focus of our farm from meat production to vegetables we'd still have a small herd of Dexters.
     
  8. furholler

    furholler Cedar Cove Farm Supporter

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    I am milking a one teated dexter, (long story) I get about a quart out of the one quarter. I imagine that if all four were producing I'd get a gallon per day. The milk is excellent. My six year old daughter loves it. She says it is sweet. I just like it, for a while we were getting about 8% cream, made some icecream and it was awesome!