What is a throwback?

December 11, 2012

“Throwback” is not a genetic term, because it biochemically does not exist. An animal is either heterozygous or homozygous at any location in its genetic code.¬† Some traits are single-gene-traits (influenced by one gene,)¬† and some are influenced my multiple genes. Before genetic¬†inheritance was understood, the term “throwback” was used in Dexters to describe a [...]

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Breed Description

May 22, 2012

WHAT A DEXTER SHOULD BE (Author: Stefani Millman June 2009. Watch for our Illustrated Breed Description in Dexter Cattle, A Breeders’ Notebook, Volume II) A dual-purpose animal is bred to serve two functions: milk and beef. The Dexter is to be compactly built, shorter in length than that of a true dairy breed but thicker [...]

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The History of Dexter Cattle

April 10, 2012
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The Dexter breed originated in southwestern Ireland from which it was brought to England in 1882. The breed virtually disappeared in Ireland, but was still maintained as a pure breed in a number of small herds in England. The Dexter is probably the smallest breed that was developed in the British Isles, with mature cows [...]

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Buying a Halter

April 10, 2012
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The best source of halters I have found is Jeffers Livestock. The halters are economically priced and fit Dexters better than any other. The item number for their nylon cow halter is SS-H6 and they come in a variety of colors. The yearling size fits most adult female Dexters, the calf size fits most yearlings [...]

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Copper Deficiency

April 10, 2012
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The Copper deficient cattle I have seen have always been in situations where the animals were not grazing and were fed all purpose feeds that were tailored to sheep. Most sheep feeds, general purpose feeds, and general purpose mineral blocks are extremely low in Copper because sheep, (especially Suffolks and similar breeds) have trouble with [...]

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De-Horning with Paste & Duct Tape

April 10, 2012
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I have used the iron quite a bit, but I feel this version of the paste method is superior for young calves. I was always afraid to use dehorning paste, because of fear of it ending up somewhere other than the horn buds, but this system really works. This method is for little calves; five [...]

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Dexter Colors

April 10, 2012
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Dexters come in several colors, although they are always solid colored; never spotted. Many have white on their udder. The three basic colors are Black, Dun, and Red. However, animals that are black at birth can sun fade and look quite red, especially their first summer. They will go back to black when their hair [...]

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Polled Genetics

April 10, 2012

by Gabriella Nanci A polled animal is one that was born without horns. The polled trait is determined by a genetic variation on cattle chromosome 1. Virtually all polled Dexters in the United States descend from a bull named Saltaire Platinum, (shown in this photo,) whose semen was imported from England by Fred Chesterley. The [...]

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Short Legged – Long Legged Dexters

April 9, 2012

There are basically two kinds of Dexters, and lots of names for each. They are: Short Leg, Classic Dexter, Dwarf, Achondroplastic or Chondrodysplastic Dwarf, Beef Type, Heterozygote, Carrier, Affected. Long Leg, Normal, Kerry Type, Dairy Type, Proportionate, Homozygous Normal. The problem is that most of the names are either inaccurate or offending. For instance, the [...]

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Genetic Terms

April 9, 2012

by Gabriella Nanci Genes: The units or factors of heredity that are responsible for the expression of any characteristic. Genes are tiny segments of protein contained in all cells. They normally occur in pairs and form the bridge of inheritance from one generation to the next. Allele: Genes come in pairs (one from the father, [...]

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