“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Dexter Cattle for the Homestead
As many of you know, we simply were having a hard time deciding between a cow or a goat. For right now we have decided on goats. However, we have not totally ruled out a cow and when the time is right we have decided which breed will be right for us. For the small homestead farm I don't see how you could beat the Dexter Cow. Originally from Ireland these are triple purpose animals. They produce high quality milk in the 4 -6% milk fat range. That is right up there with Jersey's. They also produce good quality meat and body percentage produce more than most beef breeds. A typical beef cow will give 50% of its body weight in meat while a Dexter gives 60%. They are also good to use as oxen. Triple use for one price, you can't beat that. Now the real advantage to the homesteader with these cows is their size. They are small with the cows ranging from 36" to 42" in height. They eat about one third of what their full sized counterparts do, making them much more economical for the homesteader producing some or most of their own feed. Even those who buy feed will get off much cheaper. They have an easy going temperament and are easy for children to handle. While a cow is not in our immediate future I do see Dexters as part of our homestead life at some point. They definitely are the cattle of the future small homestead. For more information on this wonderful breed or to find a breeder near you check out the American Dexter Cattle Association.