Dexter Cattle Vs Angus for homesteading

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kewh33476

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We are starting an Eco-farm for sustainability as a model for people concerned about the economy and environment. I was wanting to raise Dexter cattle for their multipurpose abilities, their easy handling, their lean & high quality meat, and their feed ratio. My son wants to raise Angus because of the wealth of information and research on them with their EPDs where they could be bred for these qualities. I would choose Angus for us because we have 300 acres but many people that we would like to be a model for and provide cattle for them to use may only have 5 acres. Could anyone with more knowledge on these two breeds or any other breed that might be superior to these for this application help us with this decision? Maybe it would be better to have both a Jersey & Angus instead of a duel purpose.
 

LoveMoo11

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In my opinion, a dual purpose animal is more useful for someone who is homesteading with a small amount of land, because they might not have room for several cattle. Also, if you have a dairy breed like the Jerseys, you will have to have the equipment to milk them and an outlet for the milk because they produce a lot more. Just my two cents. :)
 

Frankie

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kewh33476":1202r0my said:
We are starting an Eco-farm for sustainability as a model for people concerned about the economy and environment. I was wanting to raise Dexter cattle for their multipurpose abilities, their easy handling, their lean & high quality meat, and their feed ratio. My son wants to raise Angus because of the wealth of information and research on them with their EPDs where they could be bred for these qualities. I would choose Angus for us because we have 300 acres but many people that we would like to be a model for and provide cattle for them to use may only have 5 acres. Could anyone with more knowledge on these two breeds or any other breed that might be superior to these for this application help us with this decision? Maybe it would be better to have both a Jersey & Angus instead of a duel purpose.

Please understand that I'm not being rude or mean. But if you don't have an answer to this question, how can you consider yourself a model for other people to imitate?

Here's a link to a Homesteading page with discussion boards. They might be more helpful to you.

http://homesteadingtoday.com/forumdispl ... ne=30&f=44
 

KMacGinley

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Plenty of people like minded to you raise angus, but you can't raise the type of angus that Frankie and some others tout on here. You need cattle like Ohldes raise or Appalach cattle is breeding or the Shoshones maybe. We are going to 100% Ohlde breeding in our herd. You may hear Pharoh's name mentioned but he is simply using Ohlde genetics. You may want to just go straight to the source. With 300 acres you could really do something with a fairly sizeable herd. If you want to raise dual purpose cattle though, angus are not it. Where are you located? PM me and we can talk about this.
 

Frankie

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KMacGinley":24ykfw45 said:
Plenty of people like minded to you raise angus, but you can't raise the type of angus that Frankie and some others tout on here. You need cattle like Ohldes raise or Appalach cattle is breeding or the Shoshones maybe. We are going to 100% Ohlde breeding in our herd. You may hear Pharoh's name mentioned but he is simply using Ohlde genetics. You may want to just go straight to the source. With 300 acres you could really do something with a fairly sizeable herd. If you want to raise dual purpose cattle though, angus are not it. Where are you located? PM me and we can talk about this.

That's a major strength of the Angus breed: different genetics for different needs.

But I have a hard time seeing where you can run a cow milking for one calf and finishing her yearling calf at the same time on five acres of land. At least without seriously high inputs. I know there are places that get a lot more rain than we do, but that still seems to be a reach to me. Can you do it in your area?
 

dun

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You might want to read the books, "Five acres and independence" and "The have more plan"
 

Frankie

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dun":3mlb7s3l said:
You might want to read the books, "Five acres and independence" and "The have more plan"

Can't find our copy of Five Acres & Independence, but if I remember right, he doesn't recommend cattle. He talks about a milk cow possibly being of benefit, but doesn't address raising a calf for meat. Do you have a copy handy?
 

dun

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Frankie":1izkvxb3 said:
dun":1izkvxb3 said:
You might want to read the books, "Five acres and independence" and "The have more plan"

Can't find our copy of Five Acres & Independence, but if I remember right, he doesn't recommend cattle. He talks about a milk cow possibly being of benefit, but doesn't address raising a calf for meat. Do you have a copy handy?

I don;t have my copy anymore, loaned it to a "homesteader type" and never got it back. I prefered the Have more plan. We had more then a couple of acres but when we moved from WI to WA when I was a kid my folks used it as a guide for our place. We even got one of those new fangled home freezers to keep a lot of our produce and meat in.
 

andybob

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The popular books here were written by John Seymour, the most popular being"The Complete Book Of Self-Sufficiency" printed by Faber and Faber. He advocates using a dual purpose breed,even on a small acrage, as the availability of the manure etc as fertiliser more than compensates for the cost of buying in hay. A few smallholders near here keep Shetlands, crossing them with continentals for their beef needs.
 

GreyDex

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Well for a small acreage and for a dual purpose type cattle I would easily choose a Dexter over an Angus. A Dexter cow with calf will easily be able to provide enough milk for a good sized family with milk left over for the calf, plus they provide a good side of beef and can be good pullers. It is really a triple purpose breed. The average amount of milk gathered per day from a cow is 2 gallons of milk and three quarters of cream. They are normally good natured and long lived. They do well on pasture as they were developed in Southwestern Ireland.
 

brandonm_13

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Personally, I think you are looking at apples and oranges between the two breeds. It really just depends on whether you like apples or oranges more.

You also need to look at the end product. Are the cows going to the salebarn? Then you need Angus or another full sized breed.

Are the cows going as freezer beef? The dexter's would work fine and give the customer more options. Most cannot hold a whole "full-sized" beef in their freezer, and so are forced to get half. With the Dexter's size, they could get half or a whole.

As far as modeling goes, whether you have a full-sized breed or not, 5 acres isn't a lot of land for cattle. You can raise calves, but if you own a bull and cows, there's not much room for calves. It would probably be better to buy stocker calves to graze through the year and either sell or kill in fall. Bottle calves are also another option on small acreage.
 

djinwa

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kewh33476":2caflts0 said:
We are starting an Eco-farm for sustainability as a model for people concerned about the economy and environment. I was wanting to raise Dexter cattle for their multipurpose abilities, their easy handling, their lean & high quality meat, and their feed ratio. My son wants to raise Angus because of the wealth of information and research on them with their EPDs where they could be bred for these qualities. I would choose Angus for us because we have 300 acres but many people that we would like to be a model for and provide cattle for them to use may only have 5 acres. Could anyone with more knowledge on these two breeds or any other breed that might be superior to these for this application help us with this decision? Maybe it would be better to have both a Jersey & Angus instead of a duel purpose.

As I've suggested many times, why not a Jersey/Angus cross?

And if you want a smaller animal, use the lowline angus crossed with Jersey. With 300 acres, you could make alot of these and sell them. Some call them Jerlines.

I have 5 acres and that cross works well for me - I actually only use less than half of my place for grazing (big lawn, small patches of pasture). Hay in winter from my neighbor. Just a half coffee can of grain daily gives me over a gallon of milk beyond what the calf needs - beefy calf out of a lowline bull.

You must check out the Dexters you're looking at - some don't milk much. I'm also interested in the feed ratio you mentioned. Is that based on feed trials or research, or just a brochure you read? My Dexter steer sure was scrawny.

Jerseys give too much milk for most families. I had a cull from a dairy - still gave 5 gallons daily - how many families can use that without having to create uses? You want the cow to work for you, not vice versa.
 

Brandonm22

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"why not a Jersey/Angus cross?"

That is not a very complimentary cross. A lot of Angus out there are averaged muscled or less particularly in the hindquarters(I know Frankie that that is not ALL Angus). Adding Jersey to the mix is just going too lead to a calf with no butt end at all and the Angus is going to knock the milk production off considerably and is likely to make a harder to handle bigger female. Excess milk is not a problem. Feed extra milk too growing hogs. They will wolf it all down. If you want a dual purpose cow, get a Red Poll or a Milking Shorthorn don't gamble on an unpredictable hybrid. On 5 acres it would make more sense to keep an Angus cow to grow out a beef every year and milk a couple of goats; but this is not my experiment.
 

Jovid

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Brandonm22":17apa93q said:
"why not a Jersey/Angus cross?"

That is not a very complimentary cross. A lot of Angus out there are averaged muscled or less particularly in the hindquarters(I know Frankie that that is not ALL Angus). Adding Jersey to the mix is just going too lead to a calf with no butt end at all and the Angus is going to knock the milk production off considerably and is likely to make a harder to handle bigger female. Excess milk is not a problem. Feed extra milk too growing hogs. They will wolf it all down. If you want a dual purpose cow, get a Red Poll or a Milking Shorthorn don't gamble on an unpredictable hybrid. On 5 acres it would make more sense to keep an Angus cow to grow out a beef every year and milk a couple of goats; but this is not my experiment.

I think Red Polls is the answer. They can be dual purpose, smaller framed, very docile, naturally tender, have a better than average rib eye, marbling is good, good carcass ratio, do very well on grass and they are red. :D
 

Loch Valley Fold

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"Brandonm22 wrote:"why not a Jersey/Angus cross?"

That is not a very complimentary cross. A lot of Angus out there are averaged muscled or less particularly in the hindquarters(I know Frankie that that is not ALL Angus). Adding Jersey to the mix is just going too lead to a calf with no butt end at all and the Angus is going to knock the milk production off considerably and is likely to make a harder to handle bigger female. Excess milk is not a problem. Feed extra milk too growing hogs. They will wolf it all down. If you want a dual purpose cow, get a Red Poll or a Milking Shorthorn don't gamble on an unpredictable hybrid. On 5 acres it would make more sense to keep an Angus cow to grow out a beef every year and milk a couple of goats; but this is not my experiment.
I don't know about the Jersey x Angus cross cows that you've seen & actually milked BUT I can say from experience that there is nothing wrong with this cross, they milk extreemly well & when they are bred back to a beef bull you don't know the difference, when crossed back to a jersey the calves tend to be a little more chunky than the purebred jersey calves are still born small & slender & grow like weeds.

I agree with Jovid why not try a red poll ?
 

brandonm_13

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Red poll is good, but jersey angus crosses are good as well. They are a dual purpose animal like a red poll. We've got some and they make good mothers. If they are bred back to an angus, you wouldn't know the difference, and the mother gives more milk.
 

dun

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From the homesteading aspect, a horned breed would be a better choice. Think oxen to not require fossil fules
 

brandonm_13

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Dun brings up a good point. I live near a large Amish community, and almost everything they do is by horse power. they pull wagons, plow, cut hay, all with horses. Of course they don't eat the horses... I don't think. :???: :D
 

MichaelB

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I have a cow on 5 acres, and she is a Tarentaise. I like her because she is a small-framed cow (although I know many Tarentaise that are medium framed). I'm keeping her primarily because she keeps my pastures trimmed and because my barn felt dead after I sold my horses. My goal is to have two small framed Tarentaise cows, preferably easier to handle than the spooky pasture-raised cow I have now, and eventually breed both of them to Angus bulls for a terminal cross every year.

I have never even seen a Dexter, but I do know that Tarentaise has some commercial use, especially as a brood cow.

I have mixed feelings about "dual purpose" cows, although Tarentaise are allegedly dairy cows in France, and my BIL told me that this contributed to the large weaning weights for his calves. However, fresh, sweet cream doesn't quite cut it when I would have to milk by hand twice a day and fight for my share with a calf.

If I was serious about cows and had 300 acres, I would have gone with Angus. I don't believe that there is anything spectacular about an Angus other than an outstanding marketing campaign, but if you want to sell commercially you'll do better with black skins (Angus or Angus x). But I only have 5 acres, and I think Tarentaise are very efficient and heck, they're just pretty cows.
 
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