Short legged Dexter cross Should I buy?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by crowinghen, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. crowinghen

    crowinghen Well-Known Member

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    WA
    I'm going to look at a Dexter cross cow tomorrow- she looks to be short legged. Is this a red flag? She has had a couple of calves before, not at her current owners, but the prior owner. Current owner says she " has babies that are much smaller than her" Cow is around 44 inches, and owner doesn't know what she was bred to.
    Cow is 8 years old, pretty fat, but owner says prior owner never had any trouble getting her bred.
    We are just tired of feeding our big cows- we have a Hereford and her Murray grey cross baby-- only have 4 acres, and so this year it was so dry we started feeding in early August. Also we don't need a big cow to butcher- we can't eat that much beef.
    Any comments welcome-
    Thanks!
     
  2. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    44" is not really a small Dexter cow. What makes you say she is short legged? By short leg I presume you are referring to a carrier animal?
    It's very possible that she is a carrier and may just be tall, especially since she is a cross, without a test you wil never know for sure.
    If she is a carrier, she will still be a fine cow, just don't breed her to any carrier (short leg) Dexter bulls, or pther cross bred dexters that may also carry the gene.

    Carol
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Do you not find the Murray Grey a truly fine animal? I have a few Murray Greys and I find them to be one of the best cattle breeds. They have virtually no problems and they are easy to keep, maintaining good body condition on marginal feed. When I have access to a polled black MG I will start crossing my commerical herd to the breed.
     
  4. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree with Carol. 44" is very big for a short legged Dexter. It seems like quite a stretch (pun intended) for a cow that tall to be a dwarf (short legged).

    Maybe you could get some good photos and post them, so some of the really knowledgeable people on here (like Carol) can help you guess whether the cow really is a short leg.

    Even if she is a short legged dwarf, I wouldn't let that stop me. As long as you don't breed her to a short legged dwarf bull, everything will be fine.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
    Church Road, VA
     
  5. crowinghen

    crowinghen Well-Known Member

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    WA
    I'm sorry- i guessed at her size- I'll try to get her picture here- her legs just seem disproportionately short- she kind of looks like a pig, esp because she's so fat. She's as tall as a 9 year-olds belly button, if that helps :) It seemed weird to me that she would be short-legged because she's a cross, I wold've thought that would be a recessive trait and she might just carry it in her background, but that's why I posted .
    I think we've decided to keep our Murray grey calf- she is going to be a smaller cow, and have to agree with Agmantoo- they are just easy keeping, nice cattle.
    ours is a CHUNK! but not loose and fatty, just really stocky. We can breed her to a smaller bull if we want or just stay with the MG. We'll probably just sell her dam after she calves.
    Thank you-
    Susie
     
  6. ~Tomboy~

    ~Tomboy~ Well-Known Member

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    Hi Susie,

    You might want to refer back to a thread started 1/1/07 by Yucca Flats
    "Dexters learned a lot today".