Small cows with big benefits
Stories shared by real Dexter owners
Why Phil & Amy Eavou Chose Dexter Cattle
Phil & Amy Eavou
After breeding and raising Icelandic horses for nearly twenty years, and Icelandic sheep for the last few, we decided to branch out into cattle. We wanted to raise our own beef, have a milk cow and maybe sell a bit of beef locally to supplement our farm income. We researched different breeds of cattle and decided that seeing neither of us had any cattle experience, and we enjoy non-typical breeds, the Dexter seemed like a good choice. We found a starter herd of two cows, a bull and a young steer, and purchased them.
We got our first Dexter beef a couple months later from the bull. The beef was flavorful, rich and the steaks were surprisingly large for such a small animal. Our butcher made mention of how little waste our bull had, and that he had quite a bit of fat on him for having been completely grass fed. We were hooked!
I decided to train the friendlier cow to milk when the calves came the next spring. She was older, and I was inexperienced, and we just didn't "click." I decided I would work with her heifer calf to be the next milk cow, as we loved the dairy products we had made with the milk that we did get. We had made butter, cheese, keifer, yogurt and ice cream, and it was all excellent.
We loved the cows personalities, and how much easier they are to handle than the horses. We never expected to fall in love with them like we did. We ended up purchasing five more cows from across the country and a new bull the next year. We had six calves the following spring and have a nice little herd started. We rotationally graze them with the sheep and horses, and we found we have no problems putting the rams, bull, steers and stallion together for the winter. The Dexters really do fit our farm perfectly. Attached is a picture of our current bull and my 6'3" tall husband, Phil - small bull, tall guy!