Anyone raising Dexter Cattle for Beef?

MichaelAust Posts: 8 ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Cattle

What are the pro's, con's of raising this cattle for beef only? How does the beef taste compared to other breeds?


  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,540 admin

    We didn't raise them for beef (breeding primarily) but gosh the temprement of the Dexters is so nice. They were family!

  • LisaDavies
    LisaDavies Posts: 4 ✭✭✭

    I haven't personally but my hubby's family are commercial beef farmers so he knows a bit about different breeds (farmers talk! Lol). He says, Dexters are known for being easy calfers. Being a small breed, they also need smaller amounts of medicine etc, so should end up being a little cheaper to keep than bigger breeds. The meat is supposed to be very good.

  • EarlKelly
    EarlKelly Posts: 230 ✭✭✭

    Been considering them for the homestead. Seem to be a nice gentle breed easy to work around. Any other good points to consider about them? Not too many around me.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,390 admin

    I am familiar with the use of Dexters for beef but don't know anyone who has milked them. Any ideas on how well they produce in comparison with standard milk breeds? And how rich is the milk?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,206 admin

    We decided against them due to the high probability of mutation/dwarfism and miscarriage. If we are putting energy & money into an animal, we want to see something in the end. Dwarfism is not something we want to have.

    My husband's BIL has some and he says he makes more selling the young calves than raising them for meat to sell.

    @torey If you have a beef, the quality & quantity of the milk will be significantly less as that is not their main purpose. That said, in picking a dairy breed and even within a breed, you need to do lots of research & comparison, select carefully and ask many questions. You want to look for certain traits even in the specific animal (proper bone structure, udder health & hang, etc.) which will tell you a lot about what lies ahead should you wish to proceed.

    I have experience with beef, jersey, brown swiss and holstein to date.

    We currently have purebred jerseys (our favorite dairy breed), but have had milking shorthorn (my avatar). The jersey is about as efficient & easy as you will get for dairy.

    As for beef, we were gifted a luing ("ling") heifer (Scottish highland×beef shorthorn), which sounds similar in traits to the black Galloway that we want to pursue. Both are easy calvers, get fat on grass that is marginal to poor (so even poor, cheaper hay will suffice if you need to buy...less $), easily graze through deep snow, are docile and are hardy in the coldest winters. Their coats can be used just as bison hides are used. These are efficient and are known to have few issues. Perfect for a Canadian prairie farm!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,390 admin

    @Laurie I figured that they wouldn't produce as well as one of the standard milk breed but had heard that they were dual purpose. My niece raised one for beef and it was OK for them as they are on a small acreage. There are a couple of other small farms in my area that are raising them but only for beef. I have yet to speak with anyone who has milked them, so I was just wondering how much they would average and what the cream content would be. We had a Jersey and a Guernsey when I was growing up. Lovely animals.