Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: AI ing a Dexter  (Read 5372 times)

Berkshire Boy

  • Joined May 2011
  • Presteigne, Powys
AI ing a Dexter
« on: August 15, 2012, 11:28:32 am »
I have decided to get my Dexter in calf rather than eat her. Where is the best place to get a Dexter straw from. I looked on the Dexter website and you have to be a member at some extortionate price,  :rant: makes the BPA look cheap.
Everyone makes mistakes as the Dalek said climbing off the dustbin.

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: AI ing a Dexter
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2012, 11:58:10 am »
that is one way to stop pepes jumping on the bandwagon :farmer:


  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: AI ing a Dexter
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2012, 12:32:31 pm »
What about contacting this group:

One of their members have have a bull & may be willing to service your Dexter, or they may contacts with a keeper closer to home.



  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: AI ing a Dexter
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 01:23:12 pm »
Or just talk to your local AI person.  Or Genus may be able to help.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: AI ing a Dexter
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 07:34:45 pm »
We have always had Genus in to AI our Dexters.  They don't usually carry Dexter straws as standard so you need to order a few weeks in advance.


  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: AI ing a Dexter
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2012, 09:30:06 am »
We have always had Genus in to AI our Dexters.

I've been wondering how successful is AI? Does it take first time or does the AI man have to return for repeat performances? Is there a lot of faffing about to get the females to cycle at the right time?

We've only ever used a bull, on loan from another Shetland breeder, and the ones we've used have both been efficient and dedicated to their task. Using a loan bull means we don't have to keep one of our own, and at the moment there are suitable bulls available for hire from local keepers.
Any thoughts on the relative merits of Bull vs AI?



  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: AI ing a Dexter
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2012, 11:31:32 am »
We found AI very successful but you have to pick the right moment to call them in.  We only had one failure and that was when Genus turned up a day late - not really their fault as we didn't contact them until late in the day.

We did hire a bull once but we were worried about having him on on our land as our fences aren't the best and our neighbour has a large herd of cows.  Luckily he was a gentle old boy but sadly died (not while we had him) so we turned to AI.


  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: AI ing a Dexter
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2012, 02:23:32 pm »

Any thoughts on the relative merits of Bull vs AI?


Hi Sue,

I have heard people swearing by both, so here you go: with the bull you don't have to worry about spotting the bulling cow/heifer and as long as he's sound in legs and fertility, he'll get your cow in calf pretty quickly. For a small number of cows is not economical to buy a bull as he's only working a few weeks a year and he'd just be eating your grass the rest of the time. However if you buy/rent one, you are always at risk of introducing disease/parasites on your land. Also because the bull takes care of everything you might not be so aware of where in the cycle the cow may be.

With AI the only trouble for you is to actually spot the right moment to call the technician, cows have a fairly short ovulation window (I think it's between 12 and 24 hours from end of oestrus) so if she needs the straw on a Sat afternoon you might not get it until Mon - high risk of AI failure. On the plus side, you don't have to worry about keeping a bull and certainly not introducing diseases because every donor bull is checked befor his straws are sold. Then you won't know until at least 21 days later if the AI has been successful, that's when the cow would be bulling again if it didn't work.

Either way it is at least 30 days before the vet can see clearly in the scan.

Hope this helps  :)


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: AI ing a Dexter
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2012, 03:08:07 pm »
We have AI'd our Dexter the last three years with 100% success first service(so far) and had some lovely quality calves. We pre order the semen and it's delivered to a friend flask, then when she's bulling he pops up and does the deed  ::). Have you a local farmer who may help?  Biggest problem is spotting her bulling, she sometimes hardly shows any sign at all, luckily there just outside the house and even the kids know to be on the lookout!
We borrowed a bull once twice, less hassle in one way but was a concern with the children as they usually play in the field a lot, also the calves we had were not such good quality as AI. The other reason we decided for AI is colour, ours are all red and I want a black heifer to keep for breeding so have had her served by a black bull twice resulting in two black bull calves, typical!  :fc: for this time


  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: AI ing a Dexter
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2012, 04:54:06 pm »
Or you could buy a young dexter bull, who would save you having to keep an eye on when your heifer comes on heat. Believe me - a dexter bull NEVER misses. We've had one manage to impregnate a heifer through a scaffold pole partition.
I happen to have a young short legged black bull for sale for £250. He's about 10 months old, and is eager and willing. He'll grow on a bit so you could then eat him instead of your heifer and you should get @£400+ of meat from him. 
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.


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