Here at The Palenske Homestead we raise and breed all three colors of naturally polled Dexter Cattle for breeding stock, meat and milk. Our herd is registered with ADCA and are tested for disease including Chondrodysplasia, Dwarfism and PHA. Our herd is grass fed and able graze naturally through the warmer seasons. Our Dexters are given minerals to supplement the deficiencies in our area and receive no growth hormones. We are hands on with our calves and halter train to make life easier on the farm, whether its leading a steer to the butcher or leading a cow to be milked. We take great pride in our breeding, training and growing practices of our Dexter Cattle to achieve and provide quality bloodlines, lean beef, and creamy milk.
Dexters are hardy, sturdy cattle that are sure-footed on almost any terrain. They thrive on quality pasture or hay, but are also efficient foragers and aggressive browsers, helping to clear brushy, weedy areas when given access to them. Because of their small size and thriftiness, they require less pasture space than large breed cattle and are easier on the land and fences. With so many benefits, Dexters make good sense for the small family farm.
As breeding animals, Dexters have a high fertility rate with unassisted births. Dexter bulls are known for their even temperament and ease of handling. Dexter cows are typically excellent mothers, displaying the type of nurturing instincts that make them highly prized in seed stock operations. They produce about 1-2 gallons of milk a day, which gives a manageable amount when shared with the calf. These traits allow the small family farm to produce quality milk and beef to use and sell.
Dexters come in 3 colors: black, red, and dun. They are originally a horned breed with beautiful, sweeping, mid-sized horns that are white with black tips. However, they can also be polled, passing on this hornless characteristic to their offspring. This is the practice at Palenske Homestead.
Dexters are a naturally small breed, but are not "miniature" cattle. Cows often continue to grow until 3 years of age, finishing at a height of 34-46 inches measured at the hip. Bulls can grow up to 5 years, with a typical mature height of 36-50 inches.
Pound for pound, no bovine can match the diversity of Dexter cattle. They are the perfect old-fashioned family cow. Gentle, versatile and economical, Dexters efficiently turn pasture into rich milk and lean meat.