milking dexter cowsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
We have found someone close by that sells dexters. They don't milk their cows, so they don't know how much they'll give. I've seen the range of 1-4 gallons a day. Our family drinks 1 1/2 gallons of milk a day, plus I want to make butter and cheese. Does anyone milk dexters or have any information about their milk production? I'd hate to pay that kind of money and still have to buy milk.
-- Lena(NC) (email@example.com), January 13, 2001
Lena, We have a small dairy..22 cows plus youngstock. It sounds like you need a good "house milk cow" not a pet. I would strongly suggest that you look around for a X-bred ie. holstein X jersey or if you can find one, a milking shorthorn, brown swiss or French Normande. They all are normally docile and have a strong constitution (healthy and long-lived). These breeds will give you a good amount (60-80 lbs or 7-10 gallons) per day at peak production and usually have very rich milk good for cheese, butter and cream that you can actually use for whipping! Hope this helps, feel free to E-mail direct if you need to.
-- Deb in WI (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 14, 2001.
Hey Deb! You have insulted my Dexters! ( I have decided to try being offended; it looked like so much fun!) Cheap shot! Pet my hind foot! whoops, I mean "Pet", my hind foot!
Who needs seven to ten gallons of milk a day?! You trying to drown the poor girl? Better watch your toes, gentle or not, it hurts plenty. And they eat like um....a lot! And dairy cows are really dim bulbs...pathetic really. Any animal you can keep in with one strand of wire does not have a full load upstairs.
Actually, Dexters on average give about 2 gallons a day, but they vary widely. I'd make sure first. And if you think you can train a Dexter who hasnt been handled to stand for milking, good luck! Better to get a calf and train her up right. Dexter milk is naturally homogenized to some degree, so takes longer to separate naturally, but it does eventually,and is plenty rich, although nothing like Jersey milk.
And no more disparaging remarks about my sweet little cows, or I'll um...I'll leave dagnabit! That'll show ya!
-- Earthmama (email@example.com), January 15, 2001.
A friend of mine has Dexters. He says they are not "toys", but a real, old breed - vigorous and good at taking care of themselves. They sound good to me, and I hope to see more responses to this post.
-- Sam in W.Va. (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 15, 2001.
Thanks Earthmama. I needed that. I usually just read the posts about gardening and sewing and animals and . . . but this morning I peeked at a couple of the more volatile posts. (bad mistake). You're tongue in cheek humor has restored by good spirits.
-- Deborah (ActuaryMom@hotmail.com), January 15, 2001.
Oh my,what an offensive morning! First Deb "insults" my Dexters(even though I must admit some ARE pests,I mean pets). Then Earthmama insults my first loved cow, the Jersey. We could not keep that old girl in the fence with anything. She just wanted to be with us all the time. Seriously, I agree with Earthmama about getting a calf to raise up to be a milk cow. My full grown Dexter gals would tear down the barn if you tried to milk them at this late date. We do have a heifer that we hope to milk when she has her first calf. We have had Dexters for a year. They have made us the most money with the least amount of work.
-- Barbara Ternes (email@example.com), January 15, 2001.
If you can find the homestead works forum, there is someone there with a Dexter they've been milking, but must sell her because of health problems (theirs, not hers). They want what seems like a very reasonable $450 for her, I think she's in Wisconsin or Michigan (don't remember for sure), but they need to sell her by January 30 when the butcher comes to do in their dalf, or they'll have her butchered, too. I don't know how much milk this cow has been giving, you'd have to talk to them about that.
-- Kathleen Sanderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 15, 2001.
I ride and drive my Dexter steer. Here's some info:
From Ireland, Dexters are an ancient established breed ~ i.e. they have not been developed in recent times from an existing larger breed.
At one time there were thought to be less than 5,000 in the world, but today, with renewed interest in small holdings, the numbers have risen to approximately 12,000 head worldwide. There are some 4,000-5,000 in North America at this time.
The American Dexter possesses many desirable characteristics. It is still a very hardy animal, thriving in both hot and cold climates with little difficulty. It is tractable and easily trained, either as a pasture animal (kind on fencing) or a show animal (great with children and young adults).
It is a thrifty animal and capable of thriving on a half acre per head of good pasture, given the typical Dexter's small size. Registered cows measure between 36 and 42 inches in shoulder height at three years of age, and weigh approximately 750 pounds. Bulls are slightly larger at 38 to 44 inches shoulder height, and weigh in around 1000 pounds.
They are strong and, for their size, high volume, 3-5 gallons/day milk producers. They also produce an excellent lean beef when raised for meat. To be sure, there is less of it, and smaller cuts of meat, but the quality and coloring are usually exceptional.
Dexters generally have a very good temperament and are highly intelligent. This, combined with their small size makes them easy to handle in facilities that need not be as sturdy as those required for the larger breeds.
Dexters seem not to be susceptible to many of the cattle diseases and they are easy calvers.
-- ~Rogo (email@example.com), January 16, 2001.
Thank you, to all who responded.
-- Lena(NC) (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 16, 2001.
I have Belfair (or Belmont) miniature cattle. My cow just recently had a calf and was not hard to train to being milked. Although I have had her since a calf and have always handled and touched her so she would be used to me doing so. This particular breed is a developed breed, a cross between Dexter and small Jersey. The milk I get has a nice amount of cream for butter. As stated above this smaller breed takes up less space, feed, etc. and you get plenty of milk and a calf for the freezer, sale or whatever. Good luck with whatever breed you end up with. p.s. My grandkids love my little cows.
-- phyllis warman (email@example.com), January 16, 2001.
WARNING!! MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO JERSEY COWS (AND THEIR LOVERS!)
Hey Barbara! You thought I was offending Jerseys? HA! I just scractched the surface!
You mean those dumpy little bovines that remind me of ancient women whose altogethers have sunk to the bottom, leavin pointy hip bones stickin up like flag poles? And those bulging oversize eyeballs, googlin at ya like somebody comin off heroin?
And the milk!! So thick you have to eat it with a spoon; I once knew a family ate this stuff every day; the neighbor had to come lift the lot of em every Sunday with his forklift into their truck so they could get to church! That was after a few weeks of rolling em out the door and up onto the truck, until the ramp broke!
I know people who felt "that way" about their Jersey once. "Just wanted to be with us all the time" they said,just like you. Made a terrific mess of the carpets,and kept eatin the houseplants. Husband started complaining and referring to his wife in unkindly terms, so she took him one night, tied him to the bed and made the Jersey sleep there right next to him cuz he called her an old cow!
Give me a Dexter any day; dont take up near as much room...
-- Earthmama (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 17, 2001.
You notice that even though I like Jerseys, there aren't any grown ones living at my house. We do have a bullcalf bottle Jersy for my 12yod to raise. Where else can you get a 50 dollar calf? We never get to bottle any Dexters;they know how to raise their own calves. I'd raise Jersys, but compared to Dexters, there is no money in it.
-- Barbara Ternes (email@example.com), January 17, 2001.
Hold the phone! I didn't realize my innocent reply would create such an uproar. Everyone has their favorite breed of cow...those who raise cows, that is. I was only voicing my opinion; I was under the impression that this is what this forum was for. My response was not meant as an insult, but as an opinion for the open-minded! You will have to admit that one gallon of milk per day is no where near enough to supply house milk, butter and produce cheese. My opinion stands...I'm sorry I ever responded. You can be guaranteed that I will not make that same mistake again.
-- Deb in WI (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 17, 2001.
Deb...what on earth on you talking about???????? you actually took this as serious?? i give up
-- Earthmama (email@example.com), January 17, 2001.
A friend has decided to sell me one of her part jersey milk cows. She so gentle her kids can milk her. I do appreciate all the responses.
I figured you had to be kidding, but wasn't sure. It did kinda remind me of my ex. He was mentally abusive. He would say hurtful things, until I cried, then he would say ,"Oh, I was just kidding, can't you take a joke?"
-- Lena(NC) (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 17, 2001.