Tara and Easter

Tara and Easter
"Aw, mom"

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Remember that fabled trip north from Florida to donate two of our Dexters to a children's farm in Virginia and pick up our new eight month old baby bull?  Yes, the trip where my dear husband and I journeyed with our two year old son over 650 miles and lived to tell about it.

Well, that little bull has grown up.  Armstrong of Paradise is just over two years old and he looks great!

Please excuse the hay on his head.  He had just pulled his head out of the round bale feeder.
He is short in stature, well within the height standards, and has a lovely temperament.  He is gentle and easy to work with.  He also loves oranges, bread, and horse treats.  He can be hand fed treats by our preschooler.  He is a long-legged, Chondrodysplasia free, PHA free, and homozygous for A2/A2 beta casein.  That big mouthful essentially means that he doesn't carry the dwarf gene or a deleterious recessive gene for pulmonary hypoplasia with anascara, and his daughters have the potential to make lovely milk cows.  He has a beefy build and his dam had a lovely shaped udder.

If he had a personal ad, it would read something like this:

"Short, dark, and handsome seeks numerous short term affairs with lady cows.  Likes long ambles through the pasture, snuggling, treats, and mutual grooming.  Muscular build and a true male, but knows how to treat a she-bovine."

I knew he was special but I didn't know he would be in demand.  After some encouragement, and a big fat check from his breeder to pre-pay me for some of his straws, I took him to what we will call "Happy Camp".  The artificial insemination facility will collect 300 straws so we can share this good bull with Dexter cows all over the US.  It really is a nice thing to own such an animal.  I hope next year, I will see pictures of some of his calves produced by other breeders.

Our goal as Dexter breeders is to produce good tempered cattle that have a sound build and, that Holy Grail of cattle breeding; a true dual purpose animal for both dairy and beef.   We breed only long-legged cattle and sell our heifers as family milk cows.  Several of our cows are currently making gourmet cheese.  Some animal breeders might prefer to keep their best animals to themselves, but we feel that anything that improves these friendly little cows, keeps them employed and useful, will also help ensure that they will continue to be around 100 years from now.  Since we really enjoy these little guys, that makes us smile.

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