Monday, June 29, 2009

I Had a Dexter Wish List...

On Saturday we got up early and took the stock trailer up to Fort Dodge, IA for the American Dexter Cattle Association Annual General Membership auction. The AGM had been going on for a few days prior, but there was too much going on here at the farm so I could only get away for one day and I wanted it to be for the sale. I had been looking over the 38 Dexter cows, heifers, and bulls for the past couple of weeks and I had sort of put together a wish list.

Not that I was planning on buying anything for sure, but there were four or five that I was interested in bidding on if I felt the itch while I was at the sale. Really, what I'm looking for right now is that "great" herd bull. I didn't see the "great" one on the sale bill, but there was a potentially nice one that I wanted to check out and there were also a few cows and heifers that caught my eye.

After sitting through all of the auction (about two hours) we could drive away with nothing in the trailer because I didn't buy anything (which also helps the checkbook balance). What I did learn though is that I really like the most expensive ones. In fact the heifer pictured above is Wieringa's Belle NQ and she brought the most money at the auction. I had picked her out from the pictures as one that I may be interested in and once I saw her in person I knew that I wanted her on the farm.

I told my wife that I would be willing to cull out a couple cows in order to get her and that I was going to try and bid ... try being the key word on this one, because she went from a starting bid to $3,500 or so in no time! In the end the winning bid was $4,050 ... way out of my league for one bred heifer (although she was really nice). The yearling bull calf I was semi-interested in sold for $850 (I decided I'd rather spend more money and see what they look like when they were older). Another dun heifer that I liked a lot sold for $2,250 and a black cow that I hadn't really paid much attention to until I saw her in person sold for $2,525.

Even though I didn't bring anything home it was a very profitable day because I was able to see some good examples of what I would like our herd to look like in the future, and I realized how much we need a new bull! On top of all that you can't beat a day with the family ... so I would say it was a win, win, win!


Randall said...

Do you milk your Dexters? I've always thought they would be the way to go for me, being dual-purpose, but I've been reading John Seymour. He did not have very good results milking his. Thoughts?

Rich said...

Have you thought about using AI to breed your own bulls?

AI might also open up some opportunities to sell breeding stock.

Looking over the AI bulls on the American Dexter Cattle Association webpage, there seems to be a wide variety of bull semen available.

Some of the Dexter AI bulls were described as being 48" hip height and 1200#, which seems big for a Dexter bull. I thought that Dexter bulls were under 45" and just over 1000#.

Jason said...

dang, I didn't realize they were that pricey. I might have to rethink my interest in them... ;)

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Randall- We haven't milked our Dexters, but they are a tri-purpose breed with milking being one of the purposes. Ethan might be able to fill in more on fat content and volume of milk, but I know a lot of people do milk them and it works out well.

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

We didn't think they could get that pricey either! We have gotten almost all of ours for under $1000. You can find them for $600 if you keep your eyes and ears open. I do have to say though, after being at the auction, that a $600 Dexter and a $4000 Dexter do look a bit different.

I'll have to let Ethan answer that one. He has another busy week this week so I'm answering what I can - but I don't know about that one.

Amanda (IA) said...

hello - we were also at the show, wish we could have connected more so w/ your wife as I'm a reader to her blog.
The Dexter's were amazing, we were able to catch the milking and sample! Most we talked to did not milk but were there solely for breeding stock.
We live north of Fort Dodge.Blessings!

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