Irish Dexters, The 4-door Sedan Bovine
November 10, 2008|Comments (24)
Why a four-door sedan bovine? Well, Irish Dexters are the perfect breed of cattle for a family who wants cattle simply for meat and dairy for their own consumption. Not long ago, Josh read about them in GRIT Magazine and decided that we would have them on our future farm. We searched the web for local farmers who might have some Dexters for us to see in person but came up short. No test drives for the family bovine sedan… or so we thought.
Yesterday, friends at our church invited us over for dinner at their farm. We knew that they had cattle but we didn’t know many details about their operation. Josh and John went out to feed the cattle and discovered that they had Irish Dexters. Don’t faint! They were only thirty minutes from our doorstep all along!
Considered the perfect cow for homesteaders, Irish Dexters require half the amount of grazing space as the regular-sized popular breeds. They are small in size and extremely laid back (like surfer-dudes of the bovine world). The Irish Dexters in these pictures are quite friendly and gentle. At about 800-1000 pounds, these sweet babies are full grown. Their size makes them considerably less intimidating considering that they all have horns and are completely unafraid of humans.
As the face of farming changes (thanks to farmers like Joel Salatin), farmers are learning that large-breed cattle are simply not as practical as homesteader-friendly breeds like the humble Irish Dexters. Yes, the large breed cattle produce a great deal of meat per steer but they cost a fortune to feed. So, when one weighs out the cost of feed compared to the amount and value of the meat — the stats don’t lie — the Irish Dexter wins every time.
Josh will return to feed the cattle again this evening and is still marveling that all it takes to winter this breed which produces about 500 gallons of milk each year (the steers easily provide 300-500 ponds of meat) is little more than a bale of hay each day for mother and calf. Read more in The Amazing Irish Dexter.