Contact Info:
Dan Butterfield
Cedar Rapids - Toddville, Iowa
The native home of the Dexter is in the southern part of Ireland
where they were bred by small land holders and roamed about
the shelterless mountainous districts in an almost wild state of

The first recorded knowledge of Dexters in America is when
more than two hundred Dexters were imported to the US
between 1905 and 1915.

In recent years there has been a worldwide surge of interest in
Dexter cattle.  These gentle, hardy and easy to handle animals
are one of the world's smallest bovines.  They require less
pasture and feed than other breeds.  They thrive in hot as well
as cold climates and do well outdoors year round, needing only
a windbreak, shelter and fresh water.  Fertility is high and calves
are dropped in the field without difficulty.  They are dual
purpose, being raised for both milk and meat.

According to the guidelines, the ideal three year old Dexter bull
measures 38 to 44 inches at the shoulder and weighs less than
1000 pounds.  The ideal three year old Dexter cow measures
between 36 to 42 inches at the shoulder, and weighs less than
750 pounds.  There are two varieties of Dexters, short legged
and long legged.  Milk and beef production and other
characteristics are generally the same for both types.  

Dexters come in Black, Red or Dun.  Dexters are horned or
polled, with some people preferring to dehorn them.  

A milking cow can produce more milk for its weight than any
other breed.  The daily yield averages 1 to 3 gallons per day with
a butterfat content of 4 to 5 percent.  Yields of cream up to one
quart per gallon are possible.  The cream can be skimmed for
butter or ice cream.

Beef animals mature in 18-24 months and result in small cuts of
high quality lean meat, graded choice, with little waste.  The
expectable average dress out is 50 to 60 percent and the beef is
slightly darker red than that of other breeds.

Feel free to visit and join the discussion group!
Recently the ALBC (American Breeds Livestock Conservancy)
did a beef tasting.  See how the Dexter stacks up!
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This article reprinted/scanned with permission from the American Livestock Breeds