n Farmer’s Weekly - The little bovine with big potential : lifestock - dexter

Volume 2016, Issue 16011
  • ISSN : 0041-848X



The Dexter breed is well established in South Africa. Often referred to as 'beefy little milkers', these small bodied cattle thrive in environments varying from semi-arid to subtropical and in systems ranging from smallholdings to large extensive farms. Its dual-purpose nature and strong maternal traits has assured the Dexter cow a role as foster mother for calves or lambs. As a physically small breed, the Dexter is ideal for smallholders who want to produce milk, butter, and cottage cheese as well as meat for home consumption. Boosted by the Back to the Land movement, it is also a source of manure for organic vegetable production. It is easily kept, handled and transported without the need for specialised vehicles or facilities. In some places, such as Namibia, Dexters are farmed extensively in commercial beef operations. The Dexter has excellent potential for crossbreeding.

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