Dexter Cattle

Our herd has been tested free of BLV, BVD, Johnes, Neospora, and Anaplasmosis. 
Cattle in Tennessee are free of Tuberculosis and Brucellosis per the USDA. Our herd is also free of PHA and Chondrodysplasia. We are proud members of the American Dexter Cattle Association.

Standing at approximately 40 inches tall and weighing from 700 to 900 pounds, Dexter cattle are some of the smallest cattle in the world. Although size is the breed’s most distinguishing characteristic, Dexters are a useful and productive, multi-purpose animal.

Originating in southern Ireland during the early 1800s, Dexters were developed from the Kerry, an Irish dairy breed. Because of their efficiency in producing both milk and beef on limited acreage, they became popular with smallholders in Ireland and England. Dexters were later imported to North America beginning in 1910.

Dexters are hardy, forage-efficient cattle that perform well in less than ideal pasture conditions. They're excellent browsers and can rid pastures of pest plants. They are attentive mothers and generally calf without assistance. The milk produced is high in solids, making it ideal for butter and cheese production. Dexter beef is lean and high quality. The small size of the carcass makes the breed an excellent choice for on-farm butchering. Dexters can also be used as oxen.

Are Dexters miniature cows?

Dexters are not a miniature breed, nor is their size due to breeding programs aimed at miniaturization. Dexters are a naturally occurring, unique cattle species making them the smallest naturally-statured cattle breed in the world. Their size of bone, depth of body, and shortness of leg are inherrent to their unique genetic code. 

Dexter cattle are a tri-purpose breed ideally suited to beef and milk production, and they can also be used as draft animals. As breeders, we strive to produce animals that exhibit calm temperaments with excellent conformation, ideal for both milking and draft work.  We also work toward balanced proportions that are hallmarks of this hardy heritage breed.  We endeavor to maintain the balance between milking characteristics and beef characteristics in all Dexters in our herd. 

At right is the 1921 Dexter breed standard (click for a larger view).  While the breed standard has become more descriptive over the last century, at its core, the standard for Dexters has changed little. We have 100 years of responsible breeders, dedicated to maintaining these unique cattle to thank for the Dexters of today.  It is our goal as the current stewards of the Dexter breed to see these heritage cattle into the next century.  We are comitted to maintaining their unique characteristics, just as those who have gone before us.

Click Here to See the Modern Dexter Breed Standard

Understanding Milk Protein Genetics...

One hotly debated topic in the Dexter world is that of A2/A2 milk genetics.  The most powerful argument I've seen in favor of selecting for A2/A2 cows is that humans exclusively produce A2/A2 breastmilk.  Goats also exclusively produce A2/A2 milk. This explains why those who seem intolerant of cow's milk can often drink goat's milk.  Knowing these facts, one can logically surmise that A2/A2 cow's milk might be better tolerated than A1/A1 or A1/A2.

While there is no definitive scientific evidence that A2/A2 milk is better than the other types, we do understand that, based on the above logic, many people would prefer to have A2/A2 animals.  So how does one know what they're getting when breeding? A basic punnet square demonstrates the potential outcome of pairing any two animals with known alleles.  We do have both A1/A2 and A2/A2 animals on our farm so their alleles can vary. If the status of an animal is known, it will be noted on their page. The term "obligate" indicates both sire and dam carried homozygous alleles and therefore no genetic testing was required to know the status of their offspring.

Our Herd Sires

Belle Fourche Marvel

ADCA #051324

Our Cows and Heifers

Mountain Heritage Dazzle

ADCA #pending

Belle Fourche Tilly

ADCA #051423

Belle Fourche Lady Luna


Belle Fourche Melody


Belle Fourche Lady Vivien


Belle Fourche Miss Carly

ADCA #052347

SugarP Fern

ADCA #050525

SugarP Ruby


SugarP Clover

 ADCA #050523

SugarP Hazel

ADCA #050526

Former Members of Our Dexter Herd

Black Diamond

 The herd sire that never was...

SugarP Pippa

ADCA #042457