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Looking for a dual purpose breed to suit our needs 
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Sprout

Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:23 am
Posts: 15
Post Looking for a dual purpose breed to suit our needs
I am after a house cow that will supple milk & raise a calf suitable for the freezer, good doer, docile temperament, prefer a smaller sized beast but am not going to rule out full sized breeds either & must be good mother with ease of calving a very important point.
So far I am looking into Dexters & Highlands mainly but also thinking maybe go beef breed & just get 1 milking cow thats suitable to be joined to my beef breed bull. I am thinking 1 house cow, maybe say 6 breeders & a bull max as I feel that be enough to keep the freezer & fridge full plus an occasional stud bull or a couple fat steers to sell every couple yrs for a little cash boost. As we will mainly be living as money free as possible but we all know in todays society there are still times when money is a must unfortunately.
So what breeds should I go & study & why?
Thanks heaps.


Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:13 am
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Post Re: Looking for a dual purpose breed to suit our needs
You cant go past the Dexters as the perfect small cow. There are a few of us on here that have have/breed them.

We have a small 50 acre place where we primarily breed Wiltshire Horned to sell on but wanted to get a dual purpose cow for both our own meat and milking purposes. Growing up i did a lot of droving of sheep and cattle and hated cows with a passion so it took a lot of convinving for me to get cows for the farm.

Unlike most small breeds, Dexters are naturally a small cow. Generally Dexters are quite placid and easy to train and dont have the intimidating size most full sized cow breeds that put some people off. They are naturally a dual purpose cow proving excellent meat and milk. The breed has won plenty of awards for the quality of its meat per percentage of weight and it is often said to be second only to real Wagyu.

Our guys, and i think most people on here, have found it easy to train the Dexters to come running for a bribe or two. Ours will come from anywhere in the paddock for a bucket of sheep or cow biscuits. :) They are at the point now that if they see us outside they moo indignantly if there is no bikkies on offer.

Dexters are a great little breed and i am sure others like Lindon will have plenty of more information about them. :)

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Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:47 am
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Sprout

Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:23 am
Posts: 15
Post Re: Looking for a dual purpose breed to suit our needs
Is it hard to get polled Dexters?
Dose anyone on here milk them?
Thanks heaps Expedite for your input, love hearing about other peoples set ups etc.


Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:12 am
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 6:39 pm
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Location: Near Tarago NSW
Post Re: Looking for a dual purpose breed to suit our needs
Cai and Em may be able to help you on this one as they had both Dexters and Highlands.

We test our Dexters for A2 milk but we do not milk them (just not enough time in the day).

But they are docile, easy to calve, friendly, great meat on grass etc

And we soooo adore ours.

Sorry for the quick reply - at work :D

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Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:12 pm
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Sprout

Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:23 am
Posts: 15
Post Re: Looking for a dual purpose breed to suit our needs
Lindon wrote:
Cai and Em may be able to help you on this one as they had both Dexters and Highlands.

We test our Dexters for A2 milk but we do not milk them (just not enough time in the day).

But they are docile, easy to calve, friendly, great meat on grass etc

And we soooo adore ours.

Sorry for the quick reply - at work :D

Ok cool so there is a way to determine what bloodlines make the better milkers than?
What sort of cost am I looking at for a in calf with calf at foot?
Thanks


Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:07 pm
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Location: Near Tarago NSW
Post Re: Looking for a dual purpose breed to suit our needs
There would be I dare say between bloodlines but the Dexters they have been used as dual purpose for quite a while now.

Since you arent really sure which breed you would like, why dont you visit a few who have Dexters in your area?

We actually purchased from two studs who may not be that far away from you at Glenn Innes and Inverell.

Our Inverell breeder is no longer in the Dexters, but the ones at Glenn Innes are still very much into their Dexters and are really nice people.

They also have lowlines which belong to their son running around.

Let me know if this may be of interest to you and I can send you their name and contact details.

I know they have a few heifers for sale and they were happy to test for A2 for another buyer I sent their way.

Cheers
Donna

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Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:09 am
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Sprout

Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 1:57 pm
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Location: Kialla East, Victoria
Post Re: Looking for a dual purpose breed to suit our needs
Years ago ( Late 60's) we crossed half of our Jersey Herd with Red Poll, a dual breed, the first and subsequent crosses were far better in temperement, milking ease and quantity.
Since you are looking, check them out.
We loved them, they were a quiet animal and robust.
A neighbour bought one from us for a house cow and milked her for many years, he loved her too!!
Google "Red Poll cows for sale" and plenty of information will come up.
You have mentioned 'polled animal'. Polled animals tend to have a larger head may not be suitable for your 'calving ease'
Of course the bigger pelvis will assist here.
From memory We did not have 'unusual difficulty' calving them down.
Red Poll is where the Poll Hereford comes from.
The other half of the herd was joined to freisian bulls and they too were a huge improvement to the original herd... eventually went all freisian as the genetics were more readily available.
Also raised some of the freisian steers ( dairy beef they were called) they grew out well, but took a long time as they did not beef up until more fully grown.
Note: No longer dairying ...sold herd 2002.


Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:23 am
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Sprout

Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:23 am
Posts: 15
Post Re: Looking for a dual purpose breed to suit our needs
Thanks guys.
It seems for now it has been decided for me as I have just been given a in calf maiden dun Highland heifer, I will see how we go with her whilst we get organised & moved in. But I am still interested in starting a small herd for calves for the freezer so may well go & visit some local dexter, red poll & highland studs before I make a decision on he herd. I will let you know closer to the time & would appreciate that as Glen is not that far away at all.
A few people have mentioned the red polls are worth looking into. It seems in the smaller framed cattle they are 1 of the the only polled breeds that would suit my purpose. I may have to just live with horns, lol... I am going to look around a bit before I fully decide though


Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:24 pm
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Post Re: Looking for a dual purpose breed to suit our needs
Hi Country Dreamer!
Sorry for the delayed response to your question I've been off the computer the past few days :)
We've kept both Highlands & Dexters....we've finally settled on Dexters as our herd cows.
The reasons in the long run were the horns on the highlands get incredibly long and can be rather tricky in the yards with them always bruising one another & often me as well! We also found the highlands rather tricky to sell...everyone wanted to see pictures but nobody wanted to buy!
We did have good success with the highland x dexter calves with a good % being scurred using a polled dexter bull over them .
However again those calves proved tricky to sell.
We've finally settled on Polled dexters and have been very happy with them, we've managed to find a good balance of meat & dairy lines to our herd and they are lovely placid cattle who move paddocks easily in exchange for a tasty treat like lucurne

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Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:48 pm
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Sprout

Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:23 am
Posts: 15
Post Re: Looking for a dual purpose breed to suit our needs
I just found out about polled Highlands & Dexter's so no matter what breed I choose thats where I will be headed. I have also noticed no interest in Highlands but thought the any going off farm would be quite rare as they be worth more to us in dog meat than the $200 I have seen them go for before to be blunt.
Have you milked either breed?


Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:24 pm
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