In total, we bought 17 cows for the herd. We made the mistake of thinking every seller also culled within their herd and also assumed that certain pedigrees meant excellent breeding stock. Far from it. We culled for temperament, fused teats, udders that dragged on the ground, scissor toes, the inability to maintain condition, infertility, etc., etc. The majority of these cows went into the freezer, often with any calves they'd had here. Talk about an expensive learning curve. A few had qualities that made them sellable, even less stayed. This page is for those excellent animals.
Bulls are often "traveling salesmen". Their daughters stay in the herd and after three years or so, it's time for the bulls to move on.
AI is a wonderful tool to bring in new genetics in a safe fashion. Often it's hard to get even basic information on a chosen bull's family and offspring, something that interests me more than the statistics.
Sometimes a cow has consistenly outproduced herself and the owner finds themselves having "outgrown" her. Then she can leave and do good in another herd.
Breeding is a journey. It never ends, that's what is so fascinating.
Being able to purchase Tuck was akin to winning the lotto. I'd been smitten with him since Jeff Chambers posted the first pictures online. Tuck is magnificent. When he stepped off the trailer, I gasped in shock: I had no idea that a Dexter could be that wide! And long! And so very Dexter!
He loved it when visitors brought kids along and enjoyed being petted by those small hands. The sweetheart bull.
His daughters are Maude and Matilda, Samantha is his granddaughter.
Poppy was our second SMD bull, out of Tuck's full sister, SMD Anna Ferl. He cemented the pursuit of excellence and type. He was the Napoleon, the brilliant short dude who preferred the company of his own kind. He performed true to his pedigree here, leaving us with his son Lucien and his daughters Samantha, Habibi and Zoey.
Sooty is from Canwell and Knotting lines, which are known for their udders, but I think he was chosen for export because of his sweet temperament. There's something about him that I can't seem to let go of. I really want to get a good daughter out of him, but so far my efforts have been dissapointng. I know it's possible. Neva is his daughter and will get enough time to mature.
The diva, the queen, the cat. Violet never suffered fools and would let you know when you'd dissapointed her. Again. With her friend China she ruled the herd. A large-framed cow, she gave her daughters Maude and Matilda gorgeous, solid udders, but also her high hip and long face.
China was twelve when she got here, but you wouldn't have suspected it. She was the calm center of the herd and the touchstone for its quality. If a cow couldn't compare, she'd not stay long.
Lucien is her son, our current herd bull.
Benni had the great misfortune of bad udder attachments and diabolically short teats . Being a short, little chondro-carrier only exacerbated the problem. But, oh, her character. This is the cow that went to nursing homes. She simply loved people. I swear, she understood English. Samantha is her granddaughter and inherited her sweet nature.
We got beautiful, stunning, gorgeous Holly through a herd dispersal. Someone new to the breed had excitedly accumulated Dexters, only to find a real passion for sailing shortly after. This person never finished Holly's weaning process, so Holly left us for a herd that could better manage this issue. Thankfully she left us a daughter, Habibi.