Our Dexter Family Just Grew – Again!

Helena and Beatrice Photo taken 10-19-2014

Helena and Beatrice
Photo taken 10-19-2014

Meet Beatrice and Helena!

They arrived just last night.  And we are so tickled to have them come live with us!

Both girls are Irish Dexters.  Both have been tested and confirmed to be Positive for Chondro Dysplasia – a very well-known dwarfism trait that comes from the original gene pool of the breed.

We are so tickled to have them with us!  We stalled them up last night – because they arrived after dark.  We had already decided to put them with our youngest girl in our family – Anna.  We gave her free-will access to the barn alley through the night to keep them company and settled.

Dwayne - Anna - Beatrice - Helena Photo taken 10-19-2014

Dwayne – Anna – Beatrice – Helena
Photo taken 10-19-2014

Look how tiny they are – compared to Anna – who turns 2-years-old on February 26, 2015!

Anna – herself – is due to calve around January 31, 2015.  This will be her very first calf.  She’s alone in this age bracket and circumstances at this time.  Not wanting her to be alone – we felt it would be worth a try to put her with Beatrice and Helena.  Cattle are Herd Communal type animals.  We didn’t want her to be alone – despite her pregnancy.  But – we will be moving her into our little yard around the 3rd week of January – so we can keep a close watch on her.

Anna was so little – compared to the rest of the girls.  That is – until these 2 girls arrived.  I wanted to cry.  We were so shocked by how huge Anna looks now!  It reminded me of when I saw my oldest daughter, Lyndsey, first time after having my 2nd daughter, Britni.  All of a sudden – it was as if my baby girl disappeared and became this grown –up little girl.  I must have bawled for over an hour – just holding her in my arms and loving on her!

They grow so fast.

We were not expecting these 2 new girls to be as tiny as they are.  They are so adorable!  But when we consider breeding Artist with them – I just cringe.  My thought is – “If they don’t hurry up and do some more growing – I am NOT gonna have the guts to even try!”

They’re less than 3 months apart in age.  But they fell on the rocker of a new year.  Beatrice will be 1-year-old this coming November 22, 2014.  Helena will be 1-year-old this coming January 30, 2015.  At the very least – they will not see breeding no sooner than 16-months of age.

But I’ve been told that they should put on some really good and proper growth by the time they’re ready for breeding.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed!  And at this time – we’re considering breeding them with Seamus – if he’s not sold by then!

Using Rust-O-leum's Restore 10X Deck Paint has been a Sanity Saver!

Using Rust-O-leum’s Restore 10X Deck Paint has been a Sanity Saver!

We tried something new with the floor of our livestock trailer.  Dwayne painted Rust-O-leum’s Restore 10X slip resist deck paint on the floor boards.  This stuff is THICK.  But it has 2 different types of slip resistance in the paint that make it so worth the effort.  Sweeping out was a 2 minute job.  Nothing but dust and dried manure left – which came off with a spray nozzle on a hose – and a house broom.  But he still went back over it with a mild soap cleaner for disinfecting.

It has knocked his time cleaning the trailer down by 2 hours!!

All the way around – this has been a such a wonderful experience.  And we’re looking so forward to enjoying time with these new babies!

This entry was posted in Good News!, Misc., Preparing For New Arrivals, Yearly Accomplishments and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Our Dexter Family Just Grew – Again!

  1. wildflowerfarm2012 says:

    Is your whole herd polled?


    • None of our herd are polled. We prefer going in the direction of the Traditional Dexters. The Polled gene has become a danger to the survival of the original genetics of the breed.

      Personally, in my own opinion… I will tell you this. Polled Dexters fits in the same category with Pit Bulls, Chihuahuas, Yorkies, Sugar Gliders…. and a few others. It’s become a fad in this country. Now Australia seems to be following suit. And that’s very sad. Fortunately – we have a few folks that have been raising this breed for a long time now, that are very active with educating people that are becoming more interested in raising their own Dexters.

      Everyone has their own personal preferences. But one more downfall is coming with this effort of breeding in the polled gene. The animals are becoming larger, as well. Very much. That takes away one other original trait of this breed. They’ve always been recorded in history for having been so small that many people mistake them for being miniature. Their small size is supposed to be part of the charm – and the economic advantage. The increase in size leads to a common sense question. “Why bother? Why not just raise polled Herefords or Shorthorns?” And when the size increases, obviously, it throws out the concept of being able to house the known ratio of 2 Dexters to 1 Standard Breed in the same amount of acreage, which is being found out after the fact… after the hooves are on your property and have reached full growth.


      • wildflowerfarm2012 says:

        I see. I just didn’t notice horns in the pictures and was under the understanding that all Dexters were naturally a horned breed. I guess I better more research. Thanks


  2. wildflowerfarm2012 says:

    I am also curious, approximately how many acres of grass pasture do you figure per cow?


    • It is commonly stated that it’s possible to put 2 Dexters per acre. We are just now in the process of building our herd. We have various age groups of females, as well as our Bull. At this time – we’re in the middle of constructing cross-fencing of our Hay field and setting it up for rotational grazing. We figure we should be able to turn the entire herd out there with Artist in the next couple of years. But one other issue we’re dealing with is our decision not to stay here. We have set up plans for selling our place and being relocated elsewhere no later than 2020. My husband’s ready to retire. And we’re not sure if the company he works for will be here beyond that year.

      When we do relocate – we want more land – less house – better facilities. When we bought this place, we had the house, 10 acres, a 1920 Tobacco barn that was begging for a facelift. There was not one fence. There was an RV pad and a portable work shop. That was it. For now – we have finally hit the #5 I was looking for. We have the minimum number of cows for Artist. And that will have to do, until we can relocate. The Hay field, along with the paddocks can handle everybody, very comfortably!


  3. Barrows Farm says:

    Nice looking girls! I love our Chrondo girls but they don’t come without flaws. Just be super careful for breeding. Glad to hear you aren’t leaning toward any polled genetics…those are literally the only calves we have ever had to pull because they were so big! No good for first calf heifers at all.
    I want to comment on the pasture. Rotational grazing helps a lot! We raised 6 cows, 3 yearling jersey cross heifers and 5 calves on 4-1/2 acres during a drought year and feed about 4 small squares all summer long (April to October). This year we raised 4 dairy cows, 8 calves and 2 bulls on that same piece and again a shortage of rain and zero bales feed.


    • Thanks! Yeah, I’ve watched the new fad blowing up with the Polled genetics in this breed. And I’m not happy. Common sense prevails in losing 2 advantages with the breed… size and maintenance. We’re planning on breeding these 2 girls with Seamus. He’ll be small enough, still, with this being his first year breeding. At that point, we’re considering an agent for A.I. of some Woodmagic semen. Artist was a small calf at birth. And he reaches his 3rd year this coming end of January. Depending on how much the girls develop, breeding them with Artist before their 3rd year of age is up in the air. Neither will be breeding with Seamus until she’s 16 months of age.

      Liked by 1 person

    • wildflowerfarm2012 says:

      What state are you located in? Just trying to get an idea of what would be best for our little place in northern MN.


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