The importation of Dexter cattle to America is thought to have occurred long ago, but the first recorded importations arrived between 1905 and 1915 and numbered over two hundred head. Although the Dexter was an ideal homestead cow, providing meat, milk and power, as milk and meat production became specialized, the Dexter numbers decreased. Currently, Dexter cattle are listed as “recovering” by The Livestock Conservancy.
Dexters have been known to produce up to 3 gallons of milk per a day with the average being about 1.5 to 2.5 gallons a day. The milk has 4.1% butterfat content. Dexter meat cuts are tasty and smaller than commercial breeds.
These gentle, hardy and easy to handle animals are one of the world’s smallest cattle, requiring less pasture and feed than other breeds. They thrive in hot as well as cold climates and do well outdoors year round, needing only a windbreak, shelter and fresh water. Fertility is high and they calve without difficulty.