native home of the Dexter is in the southern
part of Ireland where they were bred by
small land holders and roamed about the
shelter less mountainous districts in an
almost wild state of nature. 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. 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. Dexters are
also the perfect old-fashioned family cow.
Pound for pound, Dexters cost less to get
to the table, economically turning forage
into rich milk and quality, lean meat.
to the guidelines.
Typical height ranges in Dexters can vary
between and within the populations of carriers
and non - carriers of chondrodys- plasia.
Both carriers and non - carriers are of
equal merit. Because the ADCA does not encourage
breeding especially small or especially
large Dexters, breeding programs that consistently
push animals to extremes in either size
direction are not encour-aged.
Typical range in height is 34-46 inches,
with a majority in the range of 36-42 inches,
measured at the hip.
Bulls: Typical range in
height is 36-50 inches, with a majority
in the range of 38-44 inches, measured at
No comparative significance should be given
in the show ring to the heights of immature
animals since individual growth rates and
chondrodysplasia status make it impossible
to estimate final heights at maturity. Dexters
can continue to grow past 3 years of age,
so final mature height should not be estimated
when judging animals. Each Dexter in the
show ring should be judged in light of their
individual merits on the day of the competition,
comparing their appearance to the general
breed description and taking into serious
consideration excellence of conformation
as a truly tri-purpose bovine and overall
healthy condition. Grooming and fitting
of Dexters in the show ring should not be
a consideration in show placements.
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.
animals mature in 18 to 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.
other bovine can satisfy such a diverse
animals in the ADCA registry were entered
in accordance with the regulations, procedures,
and information that existed at the time