Where to find the "right" bloodlines

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Terry W, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    I have decided, Dexters are definitely going to be my cow breed of choice. Perusing the various sites, I found that Dexters with legs dis-proportionately short when compared to body tend to not produce viable offspring (dwarfism?) And then, there is the milk vs meat line factor.. I am thinking Milk bloodline cows, with a meat bloodline bull, but how on earth do I find what I want? There are Deter people fairly close ( say les than a days drivce) but Where do I go to get information about a bloodline? I am thinking, If I am looking at an animal, I should keep in mind the "typical" meat and dairy structures- and apply them to the Deter size and conformation. If I decide to get all cows, can they handle carrying a calf sired by another breed bull?
     
  2. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can find bloodlines at http://www.dextercattle.org/pedigreedb/index.html and at http://www.pdca-pedigree.org/index.php

    Enter your state and search the breeders. You'll be surprised how many there are near you.

    In fact, the short legged Dexters do produce viable offspring. The non-viable offspring are the result of 25% or less of the breedings between 2 short legged Dexters. The other 75% are fine. However, to totally avoid the chance of a non-viable calf, simply make sure that at least one of your breeders is long legged. If you want to never have a short legged calf, then make sure that all of your breeders are long legged.

    Be sure to visit as many breeders as possible. Dexter people are rightfully proud of their animals and will gladly "tell all".

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
     

  3. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dexters are small and typically throw small calves. When a Dexter cow is bred to a larger breed bull, the likelihood of birthing problems is increased. Both parents contribute to the size of the calf. Dexter bulls are frequently put over large breed cows, but not the other way around.

    There are a number of Dexter bulls available at AI, and your local AI technician should be able to handle the process for you. If not, then one of your neighboring Dexter breeders might have a bull to service your cows for you.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
    Church Road, VA
     
  4. ~Tomboy~

    ~Tomboy~ Well-Known Member

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    Your might also want to check out: "The New Dexter Bulletin Board"

    http://www.dakodan.net/dexters/forum

    It is a forum for breeders and people wanting information. Great site! Ask all the questions you have. People are always willing to help. As Gene mentioned, it is best to visit as many breeders as possible. Once you start us talking about Dexters sometimes its had to stop us.


    www.legendrockranch.com
     
  5. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    Thanks folks, I have bookmarked the pedigree sites And see that there is a rbeeder about50 miles south of my location.

    hmm, join another group? Why not?
     
  6. LMonty

    LMonty Well-Known Member

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    cant you also have the breeding stock you want to buy tested to see if they carry the bulldog gene before purchase? AFAIK that way you could breed only non carriers and avoid the problem altogether.
     
  7. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    The mere mention of "bulldog" as far as genetics indicates darfism in MANY species--I buried a dwarf breed rabbit this past summer that probably should not have been born alive- A 'peanut" --The little I found about the "short" legs, further clariefied by genebo indicates that there may very well be more than one gene responsible for those non-viable offspring. I think I will steer clear of short legged animals-- I want a dual purpose animal, and finding myself with a milker that has no clearance under her belly would not be my idea of a sound foundation.. I spent too many years in the dog show world to 'trust' the "simple recessive" line of thinking... Now gonna explore more of those pedigrees and look at pics...
     
  8. DJ in WA

    DJ in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you're not committed to purebred calves, might consider breeding to lowline angus. I believe they are more meaty than Dexters, and you might get some hybrid vigor. Also calves would be polled.

    Could order some semen from a quality bull and have someone local store it and breed your cows.
     
  9. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dwarfism exists in many forms. I once read a chart of 7 different forms of dwarfism in Angus cattle alone. There are only 2 types of dwarfism found in Dexters, and one of them is so rare that it was only noted in 2 animals from Australia. The one that causes the short legs in Dexters is different from almost all other forms, in that it is dominant. That means that it shows up with only a single gene of the pair. So having the gene is always expressed, never hidden. No chance of buying a seemingly normal cow, only to find that she carries the gene. If she carries it, it shows.

    Now there is always a fuzzy edge to this. As in, "I can't tell which I have, a dwarf or a standard". In that case, there is a DNA test to ease your mind. It costs $35.

    When a Dexter calf inherits a dwarfism gene from each of it's parents, it will not be born alive. It may fail to implant, be aborted early, or be born dead. That is the famous "bulldog" calf. 25% of the embryos from the mating of two dwarf parents will fall into this category. Most breeders today are shying away from breeding dwarves together, due to the possibility of a non-viable calf.

    There are only 2 kinds of Dexters walking around. Those that have 2 normal genes (the long legged ones) and those that have one dwarfing gene and one normal gene (these are the dwarves, with short legs). There are no Dexters with 2 copies of the dwarfing gene. Those were all aborted or born dead. None has ever lived.

    The neatest thing about Dexters is that if you breed 2 normal parents together, you'll always get normal calves. Not like the Hereford, where you might breed 2 normal-looking parents together and get a "snorter" dwarf. Another neat thing about the Dexters is that the short legged dwarves are just as healthy as the long legged ones. In the other breeds this isn't true, and sometimes the dwarves of those breeds suffer and die early. One version of Angus dwarf only lives to be about 1 year old before suffocating. My neighbor has had 2 of those in 3 years.