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Dexters are the smallest true breed of cattle in the world. They are not a man-made miniature breed, they are an old heritage tri-purpose breed originating in Southern Ireland.
Dexter Cows range in height from about 35" tall to approximately 42" tall with mature weights around 700 - 800 lbs.
Dexter Bulls range in height from about 36" tall to approximately 44" tall with mature weights around 900 - 1000 lbs.
Dexter milk is excellent. Comparible in fat to a Jersey's milk - except that the fat globules are smaller - like a goat, so that many who cannot tolerate cow's milk can consume and enjoy Dexter milk. Production will vary between bloodlines, diet and stage of lactation but can be up to 3 gallons a day.
Dexter beef is high quality beef that Freedom Farms is proud to sell. We have raised Angus, Herefords, Black Baldies and even Pinzgauers and the Dexter beef, in our opinion, is simply superior in taste and texture.
Dexters are smart, strong, energetic and trainable. This makes up the "tri" of the tri-purpose breed. Dexters can be trained and are quite efficient as work animals. There small size, agile flexibility, low center of balance and high energy makes them an excellent choice for small logging operations that larger breeds just would not be able to navigate.
Dexters come in 3 solid colors with some variations and some exceptions. The 3 colors of Dexter cattle are Black (the most common), Dun (shade of brown that can range from light caramel to dark chocolate) and Red (shades from a deep mahogony to an orange shade). Some Dexters are born with excess white. This doesn't mean they are not purebred Dexters - in fact some of the oldest writings and photos of Dexters show many sporting excess white. Excess white animals are registerable - but may be penalized in the showring. "Excess white" is described as white on an animal that extends in front of their naval and on parts other than their udder and their genitals.
Dexters come in Short Legged (Chondro Carriers) and Long Legged (Non Chondro Carriers). We here at Freedom Farms feel they are of equal merit and breed for both Shorts and Longs. Shorts mature to beef a few months earlier than Longs and have a "cuteness" factor that cannot be denied. The Longs are easier to milk without a milking platform of some type and can be bred to Short bulls. Chondro (Chondrodysplasia) can be a lethal gene if a Short to Short breeding occurs. For that reason responsible breeders and caring owners always breed their Shorts to Longs which will result in 50% of the calves being short and 50% of them being long.
Dexters come in Genetically Horned and Polled varieties. Horned Dexters are the most common and most historical. We dehorn all of our horned calves - which is a very simple procedure. We breed both polled and horned (dehorned) Dexters. We breed for excellence (conformation and temperament) and genetic diversity.