Oklahoma Dexter Cattle Association


The native home of the Dexter is in the southern part of Ireland where they were bred by small land holders and roamed about the shelterless, mountainous districts in an almost wild state of nature. The first recorded knowledge of Dexters in America is when more than two hundred Dexters were imported to the US between 1905 and 1915. In recent years, there has been a worldwide surge of interest in Dexter Cattle.

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 calves are dropped in the field without difficulty. They are dual purpose, being raised for both milk and meat. Dexters are also the perfect, old-fashioned, family cow. Pound for pound, Dexters cost less to get to the table, economically turning forage into rich milk and quality, lean meat that is both tender and flavorful.

According to the guidelines, the ideal three-year old Dexter bull measures 38 to 44 inches at the hip and weighs less than 1,000 pounds. The ideal three-year old Dexter cow measures between 36 to 42 inches at the hip and weighs less than 750 pounds. There are two varieties of Dexters, short-legged and long-legged. Milk and beef production and other characteristics are generally the same for both types.  Dexters come in black, red, or dun colors. They can be either polled or horned with some people preferring to dehorn them. 

About Dexter Cattle

A milking Dexter cow can produce more milk for her weight than any other breed. The daily yield averaged 1 to 3 gallons with a butterfat content of 4 to 5 percent. Yields of cream up to one quart per gallon are possible. The cream can be skimmed for butter or ice cream.

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Photo credit: MooShine Ridge

Photo credit: Ballard Family Farm

Photo credit: Hawk's Grove Farm

Beef animals mature in 18 to 24 months and result in smaller cuts of high quality, lean meat, graded choice, with little waste. The expectable average dress out is 50 to 60 percent and the beef is slightly darker red than other breeds. No other bovine can satisfy such a diverse market.

Farm raised Dexter beef cuts of New York Strip shown (precook weight: 10 to 11 ounces each) 

Photo credit: Ballard Family Farm

All animals in the ADCA registry are entered in accordance with the regulations and procedures, and information that existed at the time of entry. Info from ADCA website.