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GENERAL BOARDS => DAIRY FARM - Animals => Topic started by: Ken on October 14, 2010, 09:51:17 PM

Title: Dexter Cows
Post by: Ken on October 14, 2010, 09:51:17 PM
Hey everyone,
My wife is thinking of getting a milking cow for my cheese making efforts and she is leaning towards a Dexter. Does anyone have good or bad things to say about these vertically challenged bovines.
Ken 8)
Title: Re: Dexter Cows
Post by: linuxboy on October 14, 2010, 09:54:28 PM
I love Dexters. They're so good natured and personable, and the milk is wonderful to drink and make cheese. I've often thought about getting one.
Title: Re: Dexter Cows
Post by: Ken on October 14, 2010, 10:44:36 PM
I can only go on what I have read, but all agree.
Title: Re: Dexter Cows
Post by: Mondequay on October 15, 2010, 06:31:42 AM
You have an awesome wife - what teamwork!
Title: Re: Dexter Cows
Post by: Ken on October 16, 2010, 02:47:43 AM
She doesn't want anything to do with the making of the cheese, only with the eating. She also generously told me that she would be willing to milk the the evening, if I did it in the mornings :o...mmm I wonder when kids are old enough to send them to do it. Is 2 too young (he does like helping dad). >:D
Title: Re: Dexter Cows
Post by: MrsKK on October 16, 2010, 06:02:22 AM
You do want to make sure that you select a Dexter that is from a milking line, as many have been bred more for their beefiness and don't give as much milk.

congrats on having a spouse that is willing to milk.  Mine will feed the cow, but I am the only milker in the house.  Therefore, I sharemilk with the calf and miss out on lots of cream.  Otherwise, I'd be totally worn out from milking and wouldn't have any energy for cheesemaking!
Title: Re: Dexter Cows
Post by: Tea on October 16, 2010, 02:42:38 PM
Ken we were driving back up the coast a couple of weeks ago, and somewhere near Caliopy I think, there was a billboard advertising milking Dexter cows.
Interested in these ourselves for both beef and milk.
Title: Re: Dexter Cows
Post by: Ken on October 16, 2010, 05:43:51 PM
there is a stud of dexter's halfway between Inverell and Glen Innes in northern NSW as well. They definitely sound like a good alrounder to consider for us.
Title: Re: Dexter Cows
Post by: FarmerJD on October 16, 2010, 06:53:37 PM
Ditto what Karen said about making sure they are from the milking line. As far as the age to break in a milker, if they can walk they can milk. They can milk on their own by at least 7 if the cow is agreeable.  My kids all started at 2 or earlier. Nine down and one left to train. ;D
Title: Re: Dexter Cows
Post by: Ken on October 17, 2010, 04:48:11 AM
Thanks for all the info, I will definitely make sure that the dexter is a milker not a meat cow.
Title: Re: Dexter Cows
Post by: Mountain Maiden on February 18, 2011, 03:09:10 PM
Hi, I know that I'm getting in on this a little late but I would not get a Dexter.  I have been breeding and raising milk cows for a long time and do not have a lot of good to say about them.  I'm new to hard cheese making but not to dairy cows or dairy goats, let me know if I can help with the cow hunt  ;)
Title: Re: Dexter Cows
Post by: cottagecheese on February 19, 2011, 08:36:28 AM
We have had Dexters for several years and although smaller than a lot of other cows, they are still large animals and can be stroppy beasts.  We have never managed to milk them but they do make good beef.

If you are getting one for milking make sure you get a chance to handle it before buying.
Title: Re: Dexter Cows
Post by: goudacheese on January 18, 2012, 02:06:27 PM
Hi, I know this is an old topic, but I used to own a Dexter...and have only good to say about them.  They don't eat you out of house and home, don't swamp you in milk, and are reasonably easy to handle. 
Ours was very wild when we got her, but we were very successful in taming her for milking.  She never did let us near her while calving or when she had the calf with her.  We ended up taking the calves off her right away, just for our own safety. 
She ended up tame enough to put children on her back... ;D
Her milk was the richest and best I've ever used.  It was even creamier than the Jersey milk I am getting now.  She produced about 3 gallons a day (if I remember correctly) at her peak, and that was more than enough for our family.  (There were at least 8 of us)
I made good cheese out of it too. 
We ended up having to sell her because we were moving....otherwise, I'm sure she'd still be with us. 
I sure got spoiled with that little cow, though...and I would really like to have another...when living situations comply...
Title: Re: Dexter Cows
Post by: Tiarella on August 03, 2012, 08:34:22 PM
Don't know if the original poster will see this but it's kind of neat to think that you might buy a heifer or cow that has as ancestors the cattle I sold to Australia around 1990!  I shipped several out there.  Ours were fairly wild and we didn't milk them.  Start with a calf if you can so she'll be tame. 
Title: Re: Dexter Cows
Post by: Bigfish on December 15, 2012, 06:22:44 AM
How did they hunt for a cow go?

I have 12 Dexters and currently 4 calves with 2 more due in early 2013. I love them all - they have individual personalities and are quite gentle animals - mine are mostly horned as I love that look.

If you deal with a registered breeder you can check if they breed for beef, milk or are maintains the traditional dual purpose nature of the breed.

There are a number of boutique dairies in Australia that use Dexter milk, a search on Google should ind a few.