A few weeks ago we went to the local show grounds to have a look at a Dexter show. There were probably 100 animals there, with some lovely examples of both black and red Dexters.
At first we were a little worried that our recently-purchased little Dexter bull, Donald (introduced here), was quite small compared to some of the Dexters on show, but after chatting to some of the owners, we were told that some of the Dexters were probably getting a bit larger than the original intention of the breed, and getting closer and closer to Angus cattle. We also thought that Donald looks a bit rougher than the ones on show, until we realised that they had all been clipped, washed and brushed before the show! I don't think Donald would put up with that kind of treatment!
It is now over 6 weeks since Donald spent a few days with Molly (our Jersey heifer) while she was on heat, and she hasn't come back into heat yet, so fingers crossed that he has done the job he was hired for, which is much more important than worrying about what he looks like. My conclusion is, don't worry about buying a pure-bred animal, you will be paying for their looks, and not necessarily their function. We didn't find anyone at the show who was milking their Dexter, so if you want a milker, make sure you buy from someone who does breed for milking ability. If you are just looking for beef breeding, buy one that has a nice beefy bottom. Unless you want to breed Dexters for showing or to set up a stud, its cheaper to find a "second-hand" Dexter than buy straight from a breeder, and there seem to always be a few advertised by people who thought they were a nice idea and have changed their mind. And here's some photos from the show....
|the calves are very cute!|
|a big-ish bull|
|Donald for comparison|
|and Bella posing nicely|
|me trying to get a nice photo with Donald and him trying to head but me...|