Dexters are the smallest breed of cattle in America. They are dual purpose animals producing both delicious meat and quality milk. Cows mature to 750-800 lbs. and 36-42 inches high at the shoulder. Bulls mature to 1000-1100 lbs. and 38-44 inches high at the shoulder. They usually are black but can be dunn (a reddish brown shade).
This breed was developed in the south west of Ireland at the end of the eighteenth century by a Mr. Dexter who wanted to breed a small animal that would be suitable for dairy and beef purposes. They are very small cattle with a broad, deep torso, short legs with noticeably angled back legs and heavily muscled hind quarters.
Dexters are a hardy breed. They perform well in a variety of climates. You will find these easy-care little cows being raised successfully from Alaska to Florida, and all the States and (Canadian) Provinces in between. They are used commercially in England and South Africa, and are also popular in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
These small cattle have a friendly character and low maintenance costs, as well as cost-effective, high-quality production of both meat and milk in manageable quantities. Dexters are a dual purpose breed with well developed udders and remarkable annual milk yield for their size. Some cows achieve an annual milk yield which is 20 times their body weight. They are undemanding and long lived. Their small size makes them ideal for freezer beef.