Dexter Cows 

In 2013 we imported 10 Pedigree Dexters and a Bull from England to start our own herd of dexters in Estonia. The Dexter breed originated in the South West of Ireland. The smallest native breed of cattle in the British Isles, they are hardy, dual-purpose cattle, producing excellent beef and milk.

 

The average weight of a Dexter cow is 300 - 350 Kg's and they are between 92cm and 107cm tall at the shoulder. The breed comes in three colours, black, red and grey. Dexters are very good mothers and calve on their own, hiding their calves in the bushes for the first few days after birth. Dexters manage very well outside in the winter in Estonia as long as they have access to shelter, food and water. Dexters can live for 14 years or more.


The breed matures early producing beef of excellent quality with good marbling. Dexter steers can finish on summer grass and supplementary feed at 20 -24 months of age, with average carcase weights of between 145 - 220 Kg's.

 

Dexters are ideal for small farms as the size of the animal and the quantity of meat is more suitable for selling direct to customers. The breed has become well known in England as celebrity chefs have discovered how good dexter meat is and have promoted it. Dexters kept as dairy cows will yield on average, 10 - 12 litres daily (3050 - 3660 litres per 305 day lactation), with some individuals yielding 14 litres or more (4080 litres per 305 day lactation). Dexters can be milked for the house as well as supporting their calf.

 

Mature cows can be successfully crossed with small British Breeds (Aberdeen Angus, Hereford and Highland Cows), but care must be taken that the animals are not overfat at calving.