The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Cattle => Topic started by: exmoorlady on April 19, 2009, 11:37:47 am

Title: Dexters
Post by: exmoorlady on April 19, 2009, 11:37:47 am
I am so excited we are taking charge of our two pedigree dexters on Wednesday from a lovely breeder on Exmoor. Rose is due to calve in July so we will probably be looking for lots of advice as this will be our first time with cows. Mayberry will be going to a bull later in the year. It is hoped that Rose will become a house cow and we can produce some beef for the freezer  :cow:
Title: Re: Dexters
Post by: danndans on April 19, 2009, 10:30:33 pm
Good luck with your first calf,  ;D
Title: Re: Dexters
Post by: garden cottage on April 20, 2009, 08:46:25 pm
good luck with the cattle, we got our dexters last year and both have calved super bull calves. think in the long run registered cattle are best to start with for breeding stock,we are looking into AI instead of bull because of only 2 heifers. have you got accurate dates for calving?
Title: Re: Dexters
Post by: Rosemary on April 20, 2009, 09:03:34 pm
Good luck with the house cow - keep us posted on that.
Title: Re: Dexters
Post by: exmoorlady on April 21, 2009, 10:01:36 am
Our two heifers are both registered and we have joined the dexter society. We have a bull about 4 miles down the road so it wont be too much of a problem. Rose was tested yesterday and it looks like her calf is not now due till september but thats not so bad as it will give me time to halter train her and get to know them both properly.
Title: Re: Dexters
Post by: matildascwmbach on June 09, 2009, 07:30:18 pm
I am a newbie to the site and to dexters.  I am thinking of buying a few dexters for my small holding.I have no idea how much it costs to buy one, and what age you normally buy them.Is it better to start off with just calves or is it advisable to get a heifer(new word)...and  a bull?
I live in Usk, South Wales and am still thinking of what animals to fill my small holding with.Any idea's.Is it possible to make a living off livestock.
The dream is to be self sufficient but also sell enough to be able to live. Is it possible or am I just being naive.H-E-L-P!
Title: Re: Dexters
Post by: Farmer on June 09, 2009, 09:31:51 pm
Hello matildascwmbach (couldn't you have chosen a simpler 'handle')?

Welcome to the forum and good luck with your 'new life', I assume you have already registered your holding and are legally set up for keeping animals...

If you are totally new to keeping cattle then don't buy a bull yet...try and find a Dexter breeder/keeper in your area and ask if he/she will introduce you to the breed and also ask if you can 'help out' for a day or so - you'll get a few tips on how to handle cattle and a great deal of advice on what you need to know. Visit the Dexter Society website and interrogate the internet (and this forum) to learn as much theory as you can absorb...

When you feel you are ready, I would advise the purchase of two pedigree heifer calves or two well handled yearlings - that should give you plenty of time to get to know the animals and you can decide whether or not to put them to a bull or have them A.I'd (Artificially Inseminated) when the time is right. You should expect to pay between 100 - 300 each, but please only purchase from a reputable seller and make sure they have been Bluetongue vaccinated and TB tested.

I'm sure you will get a lot of sound additional advice from my fellow forum members, so I'll step aside of luck

Title: Re: Dexters
Post by: exmoorlady on June 11, 2009, 06:24:55 pm
Hi and welcome I think farmer has covered everything you need to know. We paid 500 for our two girls and the older one 2yrs is in calf. Reading the websites they advise that you buy a halter trained animal but we found it fairly easy to train them with a bit of patience and lots of sugar beet. They are escapologists and you will need good fencing to keep them in. They JUMP.Good Luck and let us know how you get on.

Title: Re: Dexters
Post by: danndans on June 24, 2009, 10:07:21 pm
if anybody is looking for dexters then i'm reducing mine  ;D from34 down to................. ???not sure yet  ;D

i'v got all sorts, and reg and non reg  :cow:
Title: Re: Dexters
Post by: welshboy on July 07, 2009, 07:19:44 pm
Dandans where are you ? and how many left ?
Title: Re: Dexters
Post by: catomell on July 10, 2009, 12:24:20 am
As someone who started out with Dexters a few years back, to the current herd of 25, including my own bull, I would personally recommend that when starting out, you go for an older cow with calf (preferably also in calf again!). That way, you get a cow that knows what it is doing, has hopefully been well handled, you have a calf that you can get to know, and as (if) the cow is in calf, then you should be able to rely on her experience of calving to ensure that there are no problems, which is one less thing for you to worry about. My first lot were in fact a cow and her heifer calf, and an additional heifer. Having kept cattle before, I then launched myself feet first into Dexters, and promptly went out and purchased my rather lovely bull that I still have!! However, I am impetuous, and I would suggest that keeping the numbers small and using either AI or a hire-in bull would be a good move!
Title: Re: Dexters
Post by: bibs on July 16, 2009, 04:43:44 pm
Hello ! I'm a newcomer but I just wanted to say that I have a small herd ( very small herd ! 6! ) of Dexters and I think they're great cattle. We got Penelope and Pea ( pedigree dexters )  in 2007 both with a calf at foot. Since then we've had 3 more heifer calves and one bull calf that died shortly after birth. We sent one of the original calves to slaughter recently. he'd had nothing but his mother's milk, fresh grass and good hay and just one stressful day in his life. The meat is wonderful. They are lively animals, very fast runners! - and amazingly hardy. Good luck with them.