What is the Dexter cow used for?

The Dexter cattle are a dual-purpose breed of cows that are increased for both milk and meat production. It’s a miniature cattle breed originating from Ireland.

The breed is the tiniest of those cattle breeds and is roughly half the size of a Hereford cattle, roughly one third the magnitude of Friesian.

Dexter cattle breed information

Dexter cattle are sized animals. They have deep and wide body using hindquarters.

They appear in three colors which are brown reddish and black. They should not have any white markings except for some very little white markings to the belly/udder behind the navel and some white hairs in the tail switch.

They can be either horned or polled. The horned version has small and thick horns that develop curve over the cows and a curve over the bulls.

They have short legs.

The average body weight of the mature cows is approximately 350 kg. Along with the bulls on typical weight about 450 kg.

Dexter cattle benefits

Dexter cows are creatures that are dual-purpose. They are used for both meat and milk production.

The Dexter cattle are very hardy, forage-efficient animals and they are quite friendly in nature.

They are docile in behaviour and also possess pleasant temperaments. As an old mountain cattle breed, they’re well-adapted into the harsh landscape of Ireland areas.

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They are known to eat vegetation and weeds, and will thrive on low-quality pastures. The cows are moms that are terrific and they can protect their calves from predators well.

They calve easily and generally have issues in calving. The cows could produce around 3,500 kg of milk per lactation. Their milk is made of good quality containing about 4% butterfat and approximately 3.5 per protein.

Meat of the Dexter cows is of great quality with good marbling. The carcass’ size creates the strain an exceptional choice for use in marketing programs.

They’ve occasionally been marketed as a novelty or ornamental breed.


The Dexter cattle originated from southwestern Ireland where it was brought to England in 1882. They had been disappeared in Ireland but was still maintained as a pure breed in a number of small herds in England and in America.

Exact origin of the breed is very obscure, but widespread assumption was that these animals are a consequence of cross between the Kerry and various other breeds (likely the Devon cows ).

They have lots of similarities and lots of people considered Dexters to be a stunt type of Kerry for years. But, recent bloodtyping study has determined the Dexter along with the Kerry cattle, though closely related are distinct breeds.

Presently amount of the Dexter cattle is around 2,000 at Ireland. And it is a rare breed, but is considered a breed by The Livestock Conservancy.

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