Thomas' Dexters
   
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Breeding and Reproduction

Irish Dexters are well known for their ease of calving and are very good mothers. Heifers are generally bred to have their 1st calf at 2 years of age, and are often still producing annually into their late teens and 20's.

Dexter bulls make excellent "heifer bulls" for commercial breeders, producing fast growing calves capable of becoming replacement heifers or feed lot stock. The small birth weight of the Dexter calf eliminates the need for all night "heifer watch" and calf pulling!
 
Our calves are right at 40 # at birth, and average 24" at the shoulder.
 
 Artificial Insemination is a choice for breeders not wanting to keep a bull in the field. Semen is available from a variety of Sires and is available directly through the owners of the bulls being offered.
 

Body Condition - Breeding & Production - Score Chart

The body condition of your females seems to play a large factor in successful conception..….especially when using Artificial Insemination. 

Over conditioned (fat) Dexters seem to beat at the highest risk for breeding failure.  Calving can also be difficult for an cow that’s overconditioned. 

Females “on the gain” have the highest capacity for the ability to breed &/or rebreed where “over conditioned” females have the most difficulty.

Since Dexters are generally  easy keepers many breeders tend to overfeed, or give more treats than necessary, for maintenance…..it’s hard to put a cow on a diet once she’s too fat!

Cattle generally deposit external (subcutaneous) fat in the body in the following order:   

1) back/loin               4) brisket                    7) udder

2) ribs                           5) flank                                                                          3) tailhead                  6) vulva and/or rectum
                                                                                           

 

 



                          (Fat deposition sites in the cow shown above)

Body condition scoring is a tool you can use to monitor your Dexters nutritional needs.  The Body condition score at calving affects calf survival, vigor and subsequent reproductive performance of the cow.

 The most critical times to monitor body condition score are:

30 days prior to breeding

90 days post-breeding

Weaning

100 days prior to calving

At calving

Keep your scoring system simple ie:  A thin cow looks sharp and angular, whereas a fat one appears smooth and square. Consistency and simplicity are key in evaluating the energy balance of your herd.

Allow for the cows age and frame size when determining body condition scores. Older cattle tend to carry less condition over their top than younger cattle. Small to moderate framed cows will often score higher than larger cattle.

Scoring Chart:

1. Emaciated - Little muscle left

2. Very Thin - No fat, bones visible

3. Thin - Foreribs visible

4. Borderline - Foreribs not visible. 12th & 13th ribs visible

5. Moderate - Neither fat nor thin

6. Good - smooth appearance- *Optimum for breeding & milk production*

7. Very Good - Smooth with fat over back and tail head

8. Fat - Blocky. Bone over back not visible

9. Very Fat - Tail buried and in fat

Bulls too!

The condition of your bull before and during breeding is just as important as the condition of your heifers and cows. The bull is half of your herd’s reproductive equation regardless of how many cows you have.

For the highest success in your breeding program, your bull should achieve an Ideal Body Condition of 6 at least 60 days before service. (Sperm development takes 60 days to achieve effective maturity & mobility.) 
NOTES:
Dexter cows are protective of the calves and will take turns babysitting a group while one goes off to browse, or visit with the bull for next years calf. Most of our calves have siblings within 12 months of age. 
We catch our calves in the field to give a BOSE shot (Vitamin E - to counter our area's Selinium deficiency), We weigh measure and eartag each calf for identification.This group of cows are making sure we tagged this new heifer calf correctly!
 
 
 
TEAT DEVELOPMENT IN BULLS

Articles concerning teat development/placement in bulls as predictor in daughters:

1)                                                                                                                                                                                             A Well Balanced Bull & Masculinity…Gerald Fry http://www.bovineengineering.com/balanced_bull.html

2)
"We consider that a well balanced and well shaped udder in the cow is largely due to the way the rudimentary teats are placed on the sire. If they are crowded close together, the result is likely to be narrow pointed udders. If they are placed well apart, of good size, and well forward of the
scrotum, the effect, we think, will be to influence largely the production of well-shaped udders in the resulting heifers and counteract the tendency to ill-shaped udders inheritable from dams deficient in this respect. We believe the future excellence of the Guernsey cow will be greatly aided by close
attention on the part of her breeders to this point".

 

3)

Van Pelt's cow demonstrationVan Pelt's cow demonstration"

As an indication of the size of the udders and the place-

ment of the teats on the progeny of the bull the rudimentary

teats which should be found forward on the scrotum should

be recognized as an index. It is believed that if these teats

are large the teats of the female progeny will be large, and if

the rudimentary’s are placed far apart the teats on his daughters will be placed far apart. In addition to being a desirable

trait, this is an indication that the udder will be both long

and wide.

 

Mammary veins and milk wells are important points to observe in selecting sires, for, as in the cow, they indicate the volume of blood flowing to the lower parts of the body. Insomuch as it is so important that there be a great flow of blood through the udder of the cow, it is necessary that the

characteristics of the bull indicate that he will transmit that trait to his descendants.

 

Bulls differ greatly in size, length and development of

mammary veins much as do cows. Some of them have large

veins that pass as far forward as the shoulder pits. Others

have veins that are small and short with no signs of branches

and ending in milk wells that are so small that they are

difficult to find. It is not to be expected that a bull's veins and

wells will be as large as those of the cow for the Same reason

that the veins of a young heifer or a cow far advanced in the

period of lactation will not be as large as those of an older

cow or one that is giving a large flow of milk. Heavy production

develops the size, and it is noticeable that cows well fed and forced to yield large amounts of ilk for a long period exhibit greater veins and wells than those that have never been stimulated to do their best. Nevertheless, the presence of large, tortuous, long, branching veins and large, numerous

milk wells on the sire indicate that his heifers will have correspondingly desirable veins and wells. When the heifers come into milk they may be developed by good care and feeding. Other things being equal, they will be more productive than the descendants of a bull less developed in these respects.

 

 
 
 
 

Home Page

Kids & Kows" - Our Lifelong Commitment

Dexters

Female Stars in our Herd

More About Dexter Cattle

Breeding Colors & White in Dexters

DNA Testing

Breeding/Reproduction - Condition W/Score Chart

CHONDRODYSLPASIA

Horn Examples & Polled Info.

PHA- Pulmonary Hypoplasia w/Anasarca

Registration - Tattooing - Cattle Diseases

Worming & Fly Control

LinebreedingLinebreed

POLLED History & English APPENDIX explained

Our Animals for 2016 AGM - Kansas in June!

DEXTER HALTERS

DEXTERS FOR SALE-Thomas'

Older Dexter Females

Dexter Semen Available -Thomas'

Briarwood Blaze O'Glory #10329 - Progeny

Our Dexter TWINS & TRIPLETS

Thomas' Magic Pride -Sire - Dam - Progeny

Herd Sires @ Thomas' 1976-2013

Thomas' Prides Red Baron #4882 Progeny

Lane End Lucifer's Wizard #3556

Finding & Choosing Dexters

Dexter BEEF

A.I. Bulls

HISTORICAL DEXTER BULLS

American Min. Cattle Reg - Pacheco/ "Wee Gaelic"

English Shepherd Dogs

Thomas' Char-Gin Boston, (aka "Boss")

Beebe's ToSa Maggie

ES PUPPIES!

Arkwright-Thomas' Nanny McPhee

Thomas' ES X RC Farm Dogs

Contact Us

Links


Thomas' Dexters
Sandi & Al Thomas
P.O.Box 135
Antelope, OR 97001
 

 

[Home Page] [Kids & Kows" - Our Lifelong Commitment] [Dexters] [Female Stars in our Herd] [More About Dexter Cattle] [Breeding Colors & White in Dexters] [DNA Testing] [Breeding/Reproduction - Condition W/Score Chart] [CHONDRODYSLPASIA ] [Horn Examples & Polled Info.] [PHA- Pulmonary Hypoplasia w/Anasarca] [Registration - Tattooing - Cattle Diseases] [Worming & Fly Control] [ LinebreedingLinebreed] [POLLED History & English APPENDIX explained] [Our Animals for 2016 AGM - Kansas in June!] [DEXTER HALTERS] [DEXTERS FOR SALE-Thomas'] [Older Dexter Females ] [ Dexter Semen Available -Thomas'] [Briarwood Blaze O'Glory #10329 - Progeny] [ Our Dexter TWINS & TRIPLETS] [Thomas' Magic Pride -Sire - Dam - Progeny] [Herd Sires @ Thomas' 1976-2013] [Thomas' Prides Red Baron #4882 Progeny] [Lane End Lucifer's Wizard #3556] [Finding & Choosing Dexters] [Dexter BEEF] [A.I. Bulls] [HISTORICAL DEXTER BULLS ] [American Min. Cattle Reg - Pacheco/ "Wee Gaelic" ] [English Shepherd Dogs] [Thomas' Char-Gin Boston, (aka "Boss")] [Beebe's ToSa Maggie] [ES PUPPIES!] [Arkwright-Thomas' Nanny McPhee] [Thomas' ES X RC Farm Dogs] [Contact Us] [Links]

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