Dexter calf pics and lesson on cattle terminology

Dexter cattle are a tri-purpose cattle that originated in Ireland.  They arrived in the US in the early 1900’s.  They are used for meat, milk, and drafting.  Since they are smaller they require less feed, which makes them great for a small farm like ours.  They are not miniature cattle. A two year old steer can provide 200-300 pounds of meat for your freezer.  Last spring, we purchased our first Dexter steers (boys that used to be bulls) for meat and are going to send them to the butcher in October.  They may be shorter than our Jersey steers that are the same age, but I almost guarantee they will provide more meat.

Last July we added three Dexter cows.  A cow is a female that has given birth at some point.  Two of our cows came in cow-calf pairs so we also received a 6 month bull calf and 4 month heifer calf.  The third Dexter cow was bred and due in the fall.  Surprise, she had her baby before fall technically arrived!  We were pleased to discover the newest Dexter on our farm is a heifer (girl that hasn’t had a baby).  We will raise her up for breeding.

Momma hanging close to her day old baby.

Momma hanging close to her day old baby.  Behind momma you can see the older bull and heifer calves.

She stands about 20 inches high.

She stands about 20 inches high.

She weighs about 40 pounds.

She weighs about 40 pounds.

Our other two Dexter cows have been bred again and are due in the fall.  We are excited to watch our Dexter herd grow.  Our first grader is excited to start working with this new calf.  She is debating names as we speak.