Milking Dexters

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by SaraK, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. SaraK

    SaraK New Member

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    Hi,
    Is anyone out there milking Dexters with a milk machine? We're thinking of getting a Dexter as a family milk cow and would like to use a milk machine but I was concerned that their tits would be to small ? :shrug: Also I'd be interested in any advice as to selecting and caring for a cow. We have raised beef calves in the past but never a milk cow. We're hoping to milk once a day and get ~5 gal a week or so which sounds reasonable from some of what I've read. Any advice?

    Thanks SaraK :)
     
  2. RdoubleD

    RdoubleD Active Member

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    I can not say that I have milked my Dexter with a machine but the person who I purchased her from did. I have looked into machine milkers and you can get different sized cups for the machines. The reason I milk by hand is because it will take me more time to clean up the machine then it does to just milk her by hand and wash the buckets.

    When I milk my Dexter I milk her once a day with a calf on her. I do not seperate the calf off, just go out and milk her in the evening. She will give me about a gallon, so I think that your 5 gallons a week is not unreasonable.

    When you purchase your Dexter it would be best if she was in milk so that you can see her udder size as well as teet size. Another thing to consider is the size ot the teet, you never know when you will be milking by hand so the teet size better work for your hands. Also, not all Dexters are good milkers, some bloodlines are better for milk then others.

    Goodluck
     

  3. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    It would seem that a milking machine to milk one cow is a cost benefit ratio question. There is alot of cleaning involved with milk machines and the cost of the special soaps used too, and bleach. It would be faster to just milk her out by hand. Not all Dexters are good milkers. Most have been bred for meat and size. Some breeders pay more attention to milking genetics but that is definitely something that you want to make sure of before you buy one. Another problem to be aware of with Dexters is that they don't all have udders for milking the way a holstein has. Again it is important to find a breeder that has put that as a priority over other features. Talk with as many as you can. There are different types of milking machines too. Some milk cans are made to be attached to a belt fitted around the midsection and some are made to stand on the ground. Dexters as a breed can be shorter than most other breeds so type of milker is important. There is a herd of sixty or so animals up for sale in Missouri for auctiojn the weekend of the 15th of October. I believe he'd like to sell as many before the auction that he can. Check out the ADCA and the PDCA web sites.
     
  4. GAchickenguy

    GAchickenguy KS boy stuck in GA

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    We have a small heard of brangus cattle and would love to have a milk cow but we dont use enough milk to justify having a larger breed milk cow. Could you give us an idea of what the going price is for Dexter's, and also any info on maybe someone who raises them in the southeastern US as it seems most are in the mid west to west coast regions...Thanks for any help (and sorry to post a question on someone elses post)
     
  5. georgiarebel

    georgiarebel Well-Known Member

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    Gachickenguy,

    We just got our first Dexter's (two heifers) a couple of weeks ago from Sweet Dreams Farms in Harrogate, Tenn. Some of the nicest people you will ever meet, and they live in such beautiful mountain country. They only have a small herd, so you'll have to keep an eye on their website for what they have for sale. We plan to buy more from them in the future. The wife and I stayed in a cabin they rent. We really enjoyed the trip through the mountains and only wished we could've stayed longer. The price of Dexter's depends on what part of the country you are looking in. I've found that in the southeast they are kind of hard to find, but the interest in growing. If anyone knows of a breeder in the Southeast please let us know. We want more. Love the two we have, but want to increase our herd quickly. I've seen prices average $800-1500 for heifers, and about $500-1000 for a bull in the Southeast, but as high $3000 on the left coast in Kalifornia. Grow'em here, sale them there :) By no means am I a price expert. There's a Homesteading member (Genebo I think it is) selling a bull for $550 but he's in Va. That's a heck of deal! One last thing that we plan to do also. Check the ADCA breeder list by state. They only have phone numbers, so you might have to do some footwork, but it could pay off finding Dexter's locally. Drop us a line if you have anymore question. Another member (Carol K) was a big help pointing us in the right direction. One warning... once you get Dexter's you'll be hooked.

    GR
     
  6. georgiarebel

    georgiarebel Well-Known Member

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    Woodspirit,

    Where'd you see the info about the auction? I checked this sites, but didn't see it. Please pass on any additional information you might have.

    Thanks,

    GR
     
  7. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Hi Sara. I sent you a PM.
     
  8. GAchickenguy

    GAchickenguy KS boy stuck in GA

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    I just saw on one of the Dexter websites that the auction on the 15th has been cancelled
     
  9. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The prices I'm hearing are wayyyy beyond what I'd be willing to pay as much as I might like to run the dexters. We're looking to purchase angus heifers locally and AI with dexter straws to build up our herd. Wish up luck.
     
  10. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    yup I posted the info yesterday and got an email today that the auction got canceled today since he sold everything off except for a couple bulls. Hard to believe but there it is. I'm looking for one to buy in spring and not having much luck. Limed the pasture and two weeks later seeded it and fertilized a week after that. Got my electric fence up but nothing to put on it. Beginning to think maybe a different breed might be the answer. I'm not going to waste any more scratch mowing it just so the oil companies get rich.
     
  11. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In addition to the dun bull I have for sale, I also have two bred cows and a cow/calf pair, plus a 6 month old bull calf. All reasonably priced.

    The cow from the pair is not a heavy milker. She's a great mother and raises good calves, but not much milk left for you.

    One of the bred cows is a good milker. She has a good sized udder with long teats. She'll stand in the middle of the pasture to let you have a few squirts. She was milked in the past, but not recently.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
     
  12. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I sure wish I lived closer to you. I would be interested in the good milker, but I don't know how I would get her to MO. :shrug:
     
  13. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    Farmer Willy,
    are you aware that Dexters don't have a grading up program in the USA so you won't be able to register them with the ADCA. They will still be nice animals but you will have to make sure that whoever you sell to are aware of that fact. Good luck with your program, it should be a great project.

    Carol K
     
  14. GAchickenguy

    GAchickenguy KS boy stuck in GA

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    Genebo could you post or PM me private and let me know what you are asking for your cattle. I would seriously apprieciate it because you arent clear across the country like most people I have seen that have any for sale. Thanks