PDCA - One Blog

Welcome to the first Dexter cattle blog to disseminate information for members of the Purebred Dexter Cattle Association of North America (PDCA) and for those with a curiosity about Irish Dexter cattle, cattle in general, as well as news from the PDCA. Expressions of opinion are to not be regarded as expressing the official opinion of the PDCA unless expressly stated. Hopefully you will find something here of interest and don't overlook browsing through the archives. Comments are welcomed.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


The word "cow" in 539 different languages:


Sunday, September 26, 2004

Woodmagic ~

"The Woodmagic herd started 50 years ago with one house cow, on a five acre holding near Newbury. Shortly, the opportunity occurred to buy two Raby cows – the herd, where I had lost my heart to the Dexter."

Don't miss the article on the website by Beryl Rutherford, as Woodmagic is the 'Featured Herd' from the Devon Group of the Dexter Cattle Society.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Dun Dexters

Here's a website from New Zealand that has some interesting information and history about "dun" Dexters - Summer Wine Dun Dexters.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Who is this?

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Cowboy Wisdom

--Don't name a cow you plan to eat.
--Life ain't about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.
--Keep skunks, bankers, and lawyers at a distance.
--Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
--Don't squat down with your spurs on.
--Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
--Don't interfere with something that ain't botherin you none.
--Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
--If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin.
--It don't take a genius to spot a sheep in a herd of cows..
--If you get to thinking you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around.
--Only cows know why they stampede.
--Always drink upstream from the herd.
--If you're riding ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there with ya.
--Letting the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in.
--Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
--When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
--Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's good to know what it was.
--Never miss a good chance to shut up.
--There are more horses asses than horses.
--If you work for the man, ride for his brand.
--Solvin' problems is like throwin' cattle. Dig your heels on the big ones and grab the little ones 'round the neck.
--Like a good cowboy, a good hat just gets better as it gets older.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Last day of Summer

Dan from Iowa, has set up another Dexter discussion board on Yahoo. Everyone is welcome and he would like for discussions to focus on Dexter cattle. Stop by if you have time and give Dan a "howdy" at DexterCattlePDCA.

I imagine that all of the discussion boards will be more active when people are snowed in this winter. Spring and autumn are always a busy time. I shipped some calves last week and still have some selling and sorting to do before winter. So my posting might be sporadic for awhile but I'll keep you up-to-date on any PDCA news.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Beef/Dairy Articles Wanted

If you would like to share your experiences with raising Dexter beef and/or milking your Dexter cows, why not write an article for the PDCA website? Don't worry about writing a literary masterpiece because what is most important is your experience which may be helpful to another PDCA member. Newcomers especially will be interested in learning all they can about Dexter beef and dairy.

So if you can write an article or have something else that you feel might be helpful on the PDCA website please send it to Gabriella:

Friday, September 17, 2004

Open Topic

I'll be busy the next couple of days and so this is your opportunity to comment on any topic that you'd like to have discussed. So if you have any questions regarding the PDCA feel free to drop it off here and we'll get you an answer soon.

Hopefully you all have great weather this weekend so that you can get out in the pasture and enjoy your Dexter cattle.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

PDCA Program Completed

The new and improved computer program for the PDCA registry has been finished. This customized program was developed specifically for the Purebred Dexter Cattle Association of North America. Now this new program can be put to good use this weekend pumping out your papers.

Still more members coming into the PDCA and so I am going to be looking forward to seeing the updated membership list that will be coming out shortly.

We've been getting good comments on the new stationery made of soybeans and the colored logo. This is good, because we want members to "like their new Association."

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Past Perfect

Forcegarth: Animals

"Although there is no evidence for cattle rearing at Forcegarth because of the acidic soil conditions, which have disintegrated the bone, archaeologists would expect that it was going on. The shorthorn cattle, which were raised in the Romano-British period are now extinct. They were much smaller than the cattle of today. Dexter cows are the nearest modern equivalent to the Romano-British cattle. They would have been used for pulling ards (ploughs) to cultivate the fields and would have been normally yoked around the horns. Although they are quite small they would have been able to plough over half an acre a day easily. Cattle would have also been used for meat and milk."

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Currently the Purebred Dexter Cattle Association of North America is the fastest growing Dexter cattle association in the world.

Register your Dexter cattle with confidence in an updated and reliable registry, maintained by the longest active Dexter cattle Registrar in the world.

Take advantage of the exclusive and unique marketing opportunities for PDCA members.

Join the conservation efforts, share information, and network with other PDCA Dexter cattle breeders.

Be a part of a membership driven association for Dexter cattle -
A breed from the past, for the present and for the future.

One day remaining to send in your PDCA Membership application and take advantage of the lower rate before the September 15th deadline, if you haven't already done so.

Monday, September 13, 2004

News You Can Use

The PDCA website continues to grow. There's now a new section for News and Events, so be sure to check it out. Also, if you know of any upcoming Dexter exhibits/shows or any news that you feel might be of interest to your fellow PDCA members, be sure to let the Association know about it.

Hillside Grazing - U.K.

Dexter cattle - an important nature conservation grazing tool.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Calf Capers

"Mandy is keen to see Tilly the Dexter calf win a prize at the Welford County Show. But strange things keep happening to Tilly and her mum, Jenny. It looks like someone doesn't want them to take part in the show at all. Mandy and James are determined to find out what's going on!"

I'm not sure if this book from Animal Ark is still available because when I clicked the Buy the Book link it was now Bunnies in the Bathroom by the same author.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

PDCA Member Websites

If you have a personal website for your Dexter cattle and would like to have it listed on the PDCA website, please send your URL to Gabriella, at:


We'd love to see lots of PDCA member websites listed.

Friday, September 10, 2004

PDCA Stuff

I was going to tell you that I had about 20 emails yesterday related to association and board activity but I didn't want to exaggerate. So I went back and counted the emails and it turned out that there were 24 of them.

Topics discussed were some dotting the i's and crossing all the t's on the PDCA Rules & Regulations as these get finished up to be sent out to the membership. A PDCA project for the preservation of Dexter history is underway. I'll have more about this later but with many Dexter owners being conservationists, I think you'll appreciate this project. The PDCA will have an online registry for members and so this is in the developing stage. Ideas for providing advertising for PDCA members on the PDCA website and in the PDCA Record was another topic. The PDCA will have an open registry but all animals will be judged on an animal per animal basis before either being accepted or rejected into the registry. One of the strong points of the PDCA is the registry and it will continue to be that way. With just one week to go before the deadline of lower membership fees expires, everyone's working hard to make sure Dexter breeders are aware of this and take of advantage of joining now if they haven't already. There were probably other items discussed but this will give you a general idea of some of the work that goes on.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

PDCA Members - Free Advertising

A PDCA member has graciously offered all PDCA members free advertising for the next six months. Members can place their Dexter cattle advertisement at dexterads.com which is affiliated with Readmore.com. PDCA members can have as many Dexter ads on the site as they wish during this six month period. The only requirement is that members will need to register at dexterads.com to get a username and password.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Cow anatomy

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Extension on Reduced Interim Membership Fees

Due to such a huge response, the September 1, 2004 deadline to Submit PDCA Membership applications for the reduced fee of $20 has been extended until September 15, 2004.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Bodies to Bones

Pathology of a Dexter Cow.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Lesbian cow study udderly serious

By Leah Moore

THE lesbian love life of domestic cattle has prompted a fact-finding mission to Malaysia's central highlands to study the world's last remaining herd of wild cattle.

Australia's only professor of animal welfare, Clive Phillips from the University of Queensland, is hoping a basic study of Malaysia's endangered Gaur cattle will help explain why domestic cows mount each other during fertile periods.

"With domestic cattle the cows show mounting homosexual behaviour when they are on heat and the wild cattle don't show that," Professor Phillips said.

He said factors such as stress, a selective domestication process which favoured outwardly sexual cows and the number of animals on heat in a small enclosure, could explain why domestic cows displayed this deviation in sexual behaviour.

Possibly in the wild you don't get enough cows on heat in one area together," he said. "There is evidence that this oestrous display is more overt in cramped conditions."

However, he said stress was probably the major factor as studies of rabbits in laboratory situations and koalas in captivity showed a similar increase in homosexual behaviour from that encountered in the wild.

"A lot of animals in stressful conditions display this behaviour," he said. "It is a bit of a stress release."

The study, which begins today, will also examine the differing feeding practices of wild and domestic cattle.

"A very clear difference is that wild cattle are not grazing but browsing," Professor Phillips said. "They are eating from scrub, bushes and trees rather than grazing on grass."

This information could change conventional thinking about the care of cattle which had insisted the animals must be fed from the floor.

Unlike other domestic animals, such as the chicken and the jungle fowl, very little study has been done on the wild relations of cattle, and with only a few hundred remaining Professor Phillips, who left for Malaysia yesterday, said the gathering of information was "urgent".

"It tells us essentially about the needs of cattle and what is normal behaviour in the wild and by inference, what is abnormal," he said.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

PDCA Brochure

Front Cover

Friday, September 03, 2004

New PDCA Editor

We're pleased to announce the hiring of Patrice Lewis as the first ever PDCA Editor. Patrice brings to the Association both experience and a record of excellence as an editor.

A hearty PDCA welcome Patrice!

Patrice Lewis, PDCA Editor
1305 Canyon Ridge Lane
Plummer, ID 83851
(208) 686-0627

Thursday, September 02, 2004

National Cattle ID Plan

By Jim Hamilton

Beef producers from throughout the area were in Springfield last Thursday, to learn about the impending National Identification Program affecting all types of livestock.

State Veterinarian Dr. Taylor Woods led a panel of three industry experts in livestock ID programs in the opening session of the annual Beef Producers Seminar hosted by University of Missouri Extension and the Southwest Missouri Beef Cattle Improvement Association.

Joining Dr. Woods in addressing the 85 cattle producers and guests were Dr. Lyndon Erwin, a professor in the agriculture department at Southwest Missouri State University for 33 years, and Mike John, vice-president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and spokesman for the MFA Inc. Health Track Beef Alliance.

Dr. Taylor Woods:

"As the state veterinarian I have known for 15 to 20 years that we needed a national ID program," Dr. Woods told the group. "It's nothing new for the Missouri Department of Agriculture to be involved in." The program has been built by 12 steering committees and has involved more than 100 people, he said.

He explained that the NIDP applies to all species of livestock, not just cattle.

When the program is implemented, livestock will have individual identification tags - eartags in cattle. "The radio frequency tag is the only one we've been able to get to work." The tags have the animal number imprinted on the back and can be read electronically by a radio frequency scanner as animals pass through working chutes.

Three events require animals to have ID tags: (1) when they enter commerce; (2) when they cross state lines; and (3) when they are commingled with other animals.

Some species - hogs, poultry and fish - may be identified by lots, rather than individual tags.

In addition to the individual ID numbers, every producer or processor will be issued a premise ID number. That number will correspond to the E-911 address of the producer.

Dr. Lyndon Erwin:

A sheep specialist, Dr. Erwin attempted to ease cattlemen's concerns by explaining that sheep and goat producers have been subject to a mandatory federal ID program for several years. "We heard a lot of doom and gloom, but in hindsight, very little of that happened."

The existing sheep and goat system does not provide traceback, as the new NIDP requires, but is a "starting point," Erwin said.

The goal of the ID system for all species is to have tags that can be read quickly, according to Dr. Erwin. Radio frequency tags have worked best. Implants, at this state of technology, represent a food safety concern because they tend to migrate under the skin.

Another issue is cost. "We want to insist on adequate funding for the state, since this is a federal program. We can't have technological glitches, and Dr. Woods is going to have to have more help. We're going to have to see federal money coming into the state."

Mike John:

John brought more salient numbers to the discussion, saying that creation of the ID program had "closer to 400 people involved."

The goal of the program is to provide 48-hour traceback of any animal to its farm of origin. The reason for the program, he explained, is that "the potential impact of a disease you can quarantine would be devastating."

He added, "The technology is far from perfect, but we're at the point of figuring how to use the technology we have."

The intent of the ID program is not for production management but to create a movement matrix, according to John. "What it's about is getting a tag in that animal when, if we don't, we lose that trail," he said. "Think of it in terms of tracing movement."

He also suggested that the least costly time to attach tags is at the ranch of origin. For small producers who may not have the handling facilities or equipment for tagging, "I'm quite sure there will be people out there to provide that service."

John also encouraged producers to use the tags as management tools and said the radio frequency ID is the "tag of choice."

He acknowledged privacy as an unresolved issue. As part of a national data base created with federal funds, animal movement numbers are an open record.

John also reiterated how the system would work for beef producers. Upon arriving at a livestock market, the owner would provide the market with his premise number, which would then be entered into a computer and recorded with his animals' individual ID numbers.

In an open question session following the presentations, Dr. Woods said Missouri would likely have 140,000 premise ID numbers, and the only time an individual would have more than one number would be if the other operation was in another state. Livestock markets will also have premise IDs, and the tags are required on cattle sold by private treaty.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Some Info on Dexter Oxen

New article by Kathleen Smith on the PDCA Website

Irish Dexter team Rex and Dun with their teamster Myles Matteson of
Suncook, New Hampshire (photo by Drew Conroy).

PDCA - One Google