Friday, September 21, 2007

So ... Yeah ... Well ... Umm ...

Do you know how some people say that too much of a good thing is bad? Well, I guess that I decided to test that theory out... On Monday we are going to load up and go get some new Dexters (two cows, one heifer, and one little bull calf). If the saying is true I'll let you know next year, but for now we are increasing our Dexter herd from one heifer and one steer to two cows, two heifers, and two bull/steer calves!

The great thing about these that we are going to pick up is that they are dun in color. Dun is somewhat more desirable in the Dexter breed just because it slightly more rare than the black Dexters. Plus, I really like the look of the duns, especially when they have horns like the heifer does. The two cows have been dehorned, but they should throw horned calves.

Speaking of calves. The little bull calf is quite the looker, but he is the brother to the heifer and son of the younger cow so we haven't really decided what to do with him yet. We will see how he starts to fill out and then decide what to do. Possibly we could keep him as a herd bull for part of the girls or trade/sell and pick up a different bull. I would like to get a bull with some color (red or dun) to improve some of the selling value of breeding stock.

I would like beef to be the centerpiece of our Dexter herd, but I also realize there is still a market for seedstock in the Dexter world so having some color helps that aspect of the possible business. Right now there are roughly 160 Dexters in Iowa so we are slowly becoming one of the bigger herd owners.

So, we are adding to the Dexter herd even though our Dexters will be over an hour away. Hopefully it will help rejuvenate some of the pastures at my Dad's place and will give us a good start on a pure breed Dexter herd. The first picture you will see is of the 4 year old cow (the mother of the bull calf and the heifer). The next picture is of the 13 month old heifer. The third picture is of the 10 year old cow that is breed back to a red polled bull (also somewhat desirable). And, the final picture is of the 2+ old bull calf from the 4 year old cow.

I think they will be a nice addition and we can use them to help get things get going!


Hogleg said...

Glad to see you are expanding. I found your blog because I am beginning also. I bought 40 acres in Southern Illinois, although we still live in Texas (selling the current house). So, build a good herd so that there are Dexters that I can buy when I get on my land and start my homestead!

BTW, let me know what your thoughts are about registered vs. non-registered stock. Not sure which way to go. Want to raise for home use beef, but the selling angle is appealing.

Ethan Book said...

Thanks for checking out my blog! We are excited about expanding and we could easily help you find some Dexters when you make it up to the mid-west (there are plenty of them around in Iowa).

As far as registered vs. non-registered would go I would normally not want an entire herd of registered cattle, but when I chose to go with the Dexter becaue of it great foraging ability, great grass fed gain, and the smaller freezer size I also decided to make sure my cattle were registered because then I could sell to other breeders or those wishing to start. If I were just going to raise beef for my own home use I might just get the best I can and not worry about breed associations and all that hassle. But, most Dexters are registered probably because there are realitively few in the US compared to other breeds.

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