Information taken from the ADCA website on Dexter Cattle
The native home of the Dexter is in the south and south western parts of Ireland where they were kept by small land
holders and roamed about the mountainous districts in an almost wild state of nature. The origin of the dexter is quite
obscure. The common assumption has been that the dester breed was derived from the Kerry breed or that it was a cross
between the Kerry and some other breed,perhaps the Devon. It has also been claimed that "Mr. Dexter, agent to Lord
Hawarden, was responsible for developing this Irish breed by selection from the "best of the mountain cattle of the
In January 1887, the "farmers gazette" of Dublin published the first register of "Pure Kerry cattle and Dexters" in
Ireland. This first register included forty six Kerry bulls, 100 Kerry cows, and only 10 Dexter cows. The Royal Dublin
society acquired rights from the publishers of the farmers gazette for this register. In 1890, the cattle with the original
numbers assigned to them, were thus included in volume one of the Kerry and Dexter herd book, as published by the
Royal Dublin Society in Ireland. The Royal Dublin Society, volume one included 118 Kerry Bulls, 942 Kerry cows, 26
Dexter bulls and 210 Dexter cows.
By January 1912, the Royal Dublin Society had published 14 volumes with the following number of aminal
registrations; 678 Kerry Bulls, 3,565 Kerry cows, 565 Dexter Bulls, and 2349 Dexter cows. In 1924 the English Kerry and
Dexter Cattle Society changed its purpose to the exclusive one of promoting Dexter Cattle and adopted the title of the
Dexter Cattle Society in volume 25 of their herd book. Herd book volume 27, in 1926, showed that 986 bulls and 3896
cows had been recorded since the foundation of the English herd book in 1892.
The introduction of Dexters in America prob. occured long ago when there was no distinction made between Kerrys
and Dexters in importation. The first recorded knowledge of Dexters in America occurred when over 200 Dexters and
Kerrys were imported to the United States between 1905 and 1915.
Dexters are a hearty breed, needing only a windbreak, shelter and fresh water. Fertility is high and calves are
dropped in the field without difficulty. They are dual purpose, being raised for both milk and meat. Dexters are also the
perfect old-fashioned family cow. Pound for pound, Dexters cost less to raise. Dexters come in Black, Red or Dun. Dexters
are horned or polled, with some people preferring to dehorn them. A milking cow can produce more milk for its weight
than any other breed. The daily yield averages 1 to 3 gallons per day with a butterfat content of 4 to 5 percent. Yields of
up to one quart per gallon are possible. The cream can be skimmed for butter or ice cream.
Beef animals mature in 18 to 24 months and result in small cuts of high quality lean meat, graded choice, with little
waste. The expectable average dress out is 50 to 60 percent and the beef slightly darker red than that of other breeds.
No other bovine can satisfy such a diverse market. All animals in the ADCA registry were entered in accordance
with the regulations, procedures, and information that existed at the time of entry.
A2 Beta Casein varient
The solids found in cow’s milk are composed of fat, protein, lactose and minerals. Genetic variants of CSN2 are
known which cause changes of certain amino acids in the beta-casein protein and alter its properties. These variants can
be classified into 2 groups (A1 and A2) which code for different amino acids at one specific site in the gene.
Milk containing A2 beta casein is considered to have health benefits, and much easier to digest.
Some of our animals carry the A2 beta casein variant. Test results are critical to implement breeding programs for
production of A2 homozygous animals.