Buying Dexter Cattle
Are you thinking of buying a dexter to breed from / eat down the grass / for the freezer or just as a pet?
These are a couple of things worth thinking about ...
- Cattle are herd animals so consider they need company. That could mean another cow or a goat, sheep or horse.
- Look at how much land you have. You may have 1 or 2 acres and a lot of grass during the summer months. But how much grass do you have during winter and the dryer months? You may need to hand feed. Five acres could easily sustain 2 dexters with reasonable feed.
- Consider the cost of handfeeding. Cattle do not need pure lucerne. For digestive reasons, half grass half lucerne is a nice mix. You will pay about $4-5 (fluctuates from year to year) for a bale. It is also cheaper to buy than lucerne. A little grain helps eg Feedlot Grain. A 40kg bag of Feedlot is about $18 (fluctuates from year to year). This is crushed mixed grain. If you give your animal whole grain they don't get much nourishment, it can also go straight through the animal. The same as straight lucerne.
- Fencing can be expensive. Although electric fences and strip grazing is an alternative. Take into consideration the height of the dexter - shortlegs & longleg. The animals need to get used to electric fencing. A good solid fence, though, would be preferable with barbed wire or dog wire.
- Look around and research your choices. Why do you want a dexter? What's the difference between the Dexter and Lowlines breed? What about a Belted Galloway? These are all small breeds. What price are you looking at.
- Always research your animal breed first. Do you live in a tick free area? What type of diseases do they get? What about vet visits and costs?
- Most vets will charge a 'coming out' fee plus mileage. Some vets will have 'special days' when they are in your area. Talk to your local vet first.
- Cattle do not need to be looked after ALL the time. If you go away on holidays make sure they have plenty of water and feed. If not water, ask a neighbour to check on the water supply.
- Always make sure you have plenty of WATER and SHADE.
Reproduced from the original dexter.com.au website.
If at any time you have any questions ask us at Dexter Cattle Forum. We will try to answer all our questions.
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Page last updated: 16 Mar 2009