The right size cow for any acreage farm

Dexter cattle

Ever since I first laid eyes on the amazing Dexter cattle back in the early 1990's, I knew they would become part of our farm.

Small, but not miniature.

Hardy, not soft and prone to illness.

Gentle and sweet - much like our Norwegian Fjord horses - they have the temperament that we are always looking to add to our farm.

The cows come originally from the southern parts of Ireland where they were part of small homestead farm's multi purposes ... used as oxen for plowing fields as well as for dairy and meat as well as being used as estate cattle for the rich in Europe. It had to do with their compact size and lightweight footprint and not destroying the precious property that they graze dawn. Today, they are used all over the world - from Europe to Africa to the Americas. They are famous for being capable of foraging on grass alone and providing exceptional milk making their cost-to-market extremely low.

Irish Dexter calves

Not only are the Dexters cattle highly efficient food wise (they need approx 1/2 acre - or 12-15 pounds of hay a day), they are also EASY calvers, allowing nature to be the cow's only assistant typically. Calves are approximately 45 pounds when born and like many other heritage breeds, they will continue to grow until they are 5-6 years old.

The Irish Dexters come in three colors: black, red and dun. Some have horns, some are de-horned while others are polled (born without horns). The focus for Willows Edge Farm is breeding those elusive red, polled Irish Dexter cattle.

There are some in the breed that are "miniature" or what we call short legged. This is due to a potentially lethal condition called chondrodysplasia (referred to as chrondo in Dexter world), which is a mutation that causes dwarfism. It can also cause the lethal bulldog mutation that causes calves to be born spontaneously aborted somewhere between 30-60 days or 6-8 months. It does not always happen and was the preferred Dexter in Europe, but it something to know.

Our Irish Dexter Cattle
Foundation Cows

Jade April (Jade Martin Jr X Thomas' RY Drizela). 2012 Red, polled cow. PHA & Chrondo free. Full sister to Jade Jasper below. DNA milk tested A2/A2, pictured above.

Jade Amber (Belle Fourche Martin X Thomas' RY Mead). 2009 Red, dehorned, tested PHA & Chrondo free, DNA milk tested A2/A2, pictured above.

Lone Star Reba (Glen Land Mr. Redfire X Lone Star Dixie) 2006 red, polled cow, PHA & Chrondo free, DNA milk tested A2/A2, pictured above.

Willows Valerie (Lochlann of Heather Meadows X Jade Amber). 2014 Red, polled heifer. PHA & Chrondo free. Not pictured.

Willows Tara (Belle Fourche Frasier X Red Tail's Sparkle). 2015 Red, polled (Pc/Pc) heifer with the A1/A2 milk gene. PHA & Chrondo free. Pictured above at 2 weeks.

Willows Tegan (Willows Sean X Jade April). 2015 Red, polled calf. Short legged! but PHA & Chrondo free. Polled (Pc/H), A2/A2 milk quality.

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Dexter Cattle For Sale


Please contact us if you are interested in the Irish Dexters. 

Heifers/Steers/Bull Calves:

Feel free to call us on any of our sale cattle at (208) 779-0483  MST.


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Articles on the Dexter cattle: 

Mother Earth News - Heritage Breeds

The "Nearly the Perfect Breed" article

Bull Service Available!

Lochlann of Heather Meadows red, polled bull

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