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.

Friday, September 30, 2005

LSU Appeals For Donations For Cattle -

Stranded After Hurricane Rita

Jason Rowntree, coordinator of the adult beef extension at Louisiana State University, is asking for donations of hay, feed pellets, fencing supplies, range cubes, fresh water and particularly help with transportation to rescue up to 175,000 cattle stranded by Hurricane Rita.

Although there have been areas that were devastated by the storm, there has been relatively little loss of life, said Tommy Shields, an extension specialist who is at the scene assessing damage and rounding up cattle. "We've just lost a lot of stuff," Shields said.

The extension has established staging areas for donated supplies:

-Calcasieu Parish
Miller Livestock Barn
Highway 27 South
De Quincy, La. 70633
337/515-6988 (daytime)

-Cameron Parish
Sweetlake Land and Cattle
Contact Fred Bourgeois 318/288-4083 or Gary Wicke 337/274-1842

Iberia Research Station
603 LSU Bridge Rd., P.O. Box 466
Jeanerette, La. 70544
Contact Wayne Wyatt or Sonny Viator 337/276-5527

-Lafourche/Terrebone Parish
Raceland Agriculture Fair Bldg.
Raceland, La.
985/537-3390 (daytime) or Mike Hebert 985/413-1158

-Vermillion Parish
Vermillion Parish Office
1105 West Port St.
Abbeville, La. 70510
Contact Andrew Granger 337/296-6852

Cash donations can be sent to the National Cattlemen's Foundation, which is also coordinating donated feed, supplies and trucking services, by calling 806/358-3681 or 800/BEEFUSA.

Source: by Pete Hisey on 9/30/2005 for Meatingplace.com

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Minnesota trying to contain bovine tuberculosis outbreak

by Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio

Roger Skime walks among his cattle before they're loaded on trucks to be taken to a slaughterhouse. (MPR Photo/Dan Gunderson)

'Minnesota officials are trying to contain an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis. There are 18 cattle herds in Minnesota under quarantine. The disease was first found this spring in a Roseau county herd. Those animals are being slaughtered to help contain the disease. But local ranchers and some state officials worry the disease has spread beyond cattle herds. This fall the DNR will test for infected whitetail deer.'


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Cattle Feared Stranded Along La. Coast

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Army used Blackhawk helicopters to search for thousands of cattle feared stranded in high water Monday amid reports that more than 4,000 may have been killed in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita.

"Take all the coastal parishes, they all had cattle," said Bob Felknor, spokesman for the Louisiana Cattlemen's Association. "It could be more than 30,000 in trouble."


Monday, September 26, 2005

Which is heavier, milk or cream?

'Milk is heavier than cream. Cream in milk rises to the surface because it is composed of infinitesimal drops of oil and fat that are lighter than water and the rest of the components of milk. It is the same principle that makes oil float on the surface of water. The rising of cream is not at first apparent because the droplets are very small and they come to the surface slowly.'

From "A Book About A Thousand Things" by George Stimpson.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Roxie taking a Sunday morning stroll.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Cow eats mobile, emits ring tone

Khaleej Times Online

MUSCAT — A cow in the Sultanate of Oman has proved how sturdy mobile phones can be — by eating one.

The animal proved this by emitting a dull ringing tone from one of its stomachs after the phone's owner dialed the number after finding the phone had gone missing.

The incident was reported yesterday by an Oman newspaper, which said the phone had been lost by a young woman who had helped her farmer mother feed cattle in Al Sahm province.

The report made no mention of phone's final fate, but its reappearance during a cow's call of nature was not ruled out.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Do cows sweat?

'Cows do sweat. Perspiration in the bovine kind, however, is not so noticeable as it is in horses and some other animals. In the case of the horse the seat glands are distributed widely over the skin and the animal sweats freely all over the body. But in the ox the sweat glands are less abundant and are most completely developed on the muzzle. Consequently a cow will sweat freely on the end of her nose, while what perspiration appears on her body is usually slight and almost imperceptible. Likewise the sweat glands of a hog are confined chiefly to the snout.'

From "A Book About A Thousand Things" by George Stimpson.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Autumn ~

Photo of autumn in Ohio by Dixie Christy

Autumnal Equinox. Fall begins at 6:23 P.M. EDT. The autumnal equinox is defined as the point at which the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator from north to south. The celestial equator is the circle in the celestial sphere halfway between the celestial poles. It can be thought of as the plane of Earth's equator projected out onto the sphere. Another definition of fall is nights of below-freezing temperatures combined with days of temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The word equinox means "equal night"; night and day are the same length of time. The spring equinox is in late March. In addition to the equal hours of daylight and darkness, the equinoxes are times when the Sun's apparent motion undergoes the most rapid change. Around the time of the equinoxes, variations in the position on the horizon where the Sun rises and sets can be noticed from one day to the next by alert observers. - Old Farmer's Almanac

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


It's been the end of summer rush around here or as they say "making hay while the sun shines".

The buzz lately from the PDCA is everyone's excited about the development of the PDCA's online pedigree. We have an experienced programmer that's putting together all the features as he's developed online pedigrees before for other breed associations. It's progressing rapidly and is going to contain a lot more information than you may be used to.

Meanwhile... back at the homestead, Roxie the PDCA auction calf is packing her bags as she's to be picked up the end of next week. She'll be missed but she's going to a very nice lady and new home in southern California, where her winter should be a lot warmer than here. I'll have to get the camera out and take another photo before she departs.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Anthrax strikes in Montana


BILLINGS, Montana -- Anthrax has killed 37 cattle on a northeastern Montana ranch now under quarantine, the state veterinarian said yesterday.

Anthrax was last confirmed in the state in 1999, Montana's Department of Livestock said. But hundreds of cases have been reported this year in neighbouring North Dakota and South Dakota.

The Montana ranch, northwest of Culbertson, was placed under quarantine Monday on suspicion of anthrax, later confirmed.

Hundreds of remaining cattle were moved to a different pasture and animals deemed susceptible or possibly exposed were given antibiotics and vaccinations, state veterinarian Tom Linfield said.

He said it's reasonable to expect more local cases following an outbreak and ranchers in the area were told to be vigilant.

In a written statement, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services said the disease poses "little threat" to humans.

Livestock are particularly susceptible to anthrax, which is caused by a spore-forming bacterium found naturally in some soil types. Symptoms like staggering, weakness and difficulty breathing can begin days after exposure and many animals are dead two days after that, the department said.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Here is the moos:

cows wash walkers’ cars - UK

'COUNTRYSIDE views were taken in by fundraisers on a charity walk for the South Bucks Hospice on Sunday.

The 90-minute walk, through the grounds of Hughenden Manor in Valley Road, Hughenden, led walkers on a traditional autumn stroll to take in views of the manor house and its gardens.

But the strangest sight of the day came when a herd of cows began licking the vehicles parked in the car park by the church.'

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

How Cattle Perceive Their World

Cattle really see the world differently. A cow may see more than you see and is often distracted by motion off to the side. However, she doesn't see the world as clear and sharply focused as humans see it, and it takes her more time to process what she has seen. Cattle have panoramic vision in excess of 300 degrees and only have a blind spot directly in the back of their heads. Human vision, by comparison, is roughly 180 degrees, and we have a much larger blind spot.

Cattle can see 300 degrees around them, with a blind spot only directly in the back of their heads.

While their field of vision is practically unlimited, cattle have poor depth perception of nearby objects and have limited vertical vision. Cattle must lower their heads to focus on something on the ground because they only have about 60 degrees of vertical vision, compared to 140 degrees for humans. Due to their limitation in vertical vision and their lack of ability to focus quickly, a shadow on the ground appears to them to be a three-mile deep crevasse!

Handlers can help reduce distractions and shadowing by taking these limitations into consideration and using a solid-sided working alley. Also, uniformity in color of handling facilities will reduce balking. Curved, solidly enclosed, and well-lighted working facilities take advantage of these senses, along with the animal's strong desire to find an avenue of escape when confined.

Cattle also hear differently than humans. They can hear both lower volume and higher frequency sounds better than people. It may be the sound of your truck, with feed in it, more than the sight of the truck, that makes those cows "come a runnin'."

Cattle hear extremely well, but the trade-off is that they have less ability to locate the source of a sound. People can pinpoint where a sound came from within 5 degrees, whereas cattle can only isolate the source down to about 30 degrees.

Be mindful of cattle with severe sight problems, such as an advanced case of cancer eye, as they will rely to a greater extent on their sense of hearing. Thus, they may suddenly swing around to investigate a noise.

Excerpt from: Cattle Handling and Working Facilities
Stephen Boyles, OSUE Beef Specialist
Jeff Fisher, OSUE Agriculture and Natural Resources, Pike County
Gary Fike, OSUE Associate, Youth Livestock Quality Assurance

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A Taste of America's Culinary Heritage

I'm not sure if there will be some succulent Dexter beef or rich Dexter milk at this ALBC tasting event but there very well could be.

Please join us for a day of creative cuisine, epicurean delights, and the celebration of rare breeds of livestock and poultry to benefit the conservation programs of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. The venue for this unique event will be Ayrshire Farm located in Upperville, Virginia - in the midst of Virginia's horse, antique, and wine country. Ayrshire Farm is the first farm in the United States to be both Certified Organic and Certified Humane.

A fast emerging trend in food consumption is the eating of rare and hard to find foods that have been sustainably raised. Epicureans are finding that, just as in tomatoes and apples varieties, meat flavor and texture varies by breed. The rare breeds represented on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy's Conservation Priority List are quickly being discovered for the wonderful and unique flavors they bring to the table.

Join us for a unique opportunity to sample meat from a number of rare breeds including Ancient White Park cattle, said by the Romans to produce the best flavored beef; Highland cattle, a breed which produces meat that is lean, well-marbled, and tender with a very distinct flavor; Milking Devon cattle, known for the exceptional tenderness and flavor of its beef; Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs, a breed developed for use in gleaning orchards and which produces sumptuously flavored pork; Large Black pig, a breed that has moisture and flavor throughout its pork; Red Wattle pig, a breed with dark, sweet meat with a reputation as a stellar choice for pig roasts; and there will be Heritage turkey samples as well.

Saturday, November 12, 2005
11:00am - 4:00pm

Ayrshire Farm
Upperville, Virginia

$125 per person
includes a tasting of rare heritage breeds of pork, beef,
and turkey and a $100 tax deductible donation to the
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

RSVP by October 1, 2005
Call Anneke Jakes at 919-542-5704
Or email: ajakes@albc-usa.org

Space will be limited, so you will want to reserve your place today!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Cow Facts

Saturday, September 10, 2005

From Husbandry To Science:

A Highly Significant Facet of Our Livestock Heritage
R. L. Willham - Iowa State University

Interesting paper examining the ramifications of contributions as husbandmen and then as scientists to the livestock world.

From Caves to Cultivation

Some two million years ago, man became omniverous. Meat may be the single most important contribution of animals to the rapid cultural evolution of man. Meat eating allowed time for social interaction and tool development (Bronowski, 1973). Both aided humans in the transition to settled agriculture. But it was the ox that, when yoked to the scratch plow, gained for man the surplus food necessary to create civilizations.

From Hornbooks to Herdbooks

Greek and Roman hornbooks, written by elder statesmen on their villas, recorded the art of husbandry (Harrison, 1917). These were later used by the Cistercian order of monks who extended their knowledge of sheep husbandry to Europe and became the first extension agents (Willham, 1984)`. Edward III, the royal wool merchant, laid the foundation for the "Empire of Wool" in England, which gave the English the experience to precipitate the agricultural and then the industrial revolution of later times (Ryder, 1983). The country gentlemen of Britain developed the pedigree breeding system and formed breeds of livestock complete with herdbooks in response to the markets of the industrial revolution (Pawson, 1957). But already much had transpired in the colonization of America, both by the Spanish and British.

Continue to... From Land to Laws

Friday, September 09, 2005

Project Grass

Mark Muir in his Vice Presidential message in the latest PDCA Record made mention of this web site as a good source of information:


Pennsylvania projects as well as other grazing links are listed on the site.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Duke the Dexter steer

A steer that no one wanted

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Mineral imbalances

'Mineral imbalances show up all sorts of different ways. Long-term effects may be cattle that have less immunity to disease, lower weight gain and lower reproduction. Some visible signs include:

Copper deficiency: Rough coat, poor growth, sickness, reproductive failure.

Selenium deficiency: Weak calf syndrome and poor survival of young calves. Weight loss and diarrhea in growing calves. Retained placenta and mastitis in cows.'

You can download a publication from the University of Tennessee on minerals at:

Mineral Nutrition of Beef Cattle

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Stewart, Bert, & Ernie

Going Through Splat: The Life and Work of Stewart Stern is a revealing portrait of a Hollywood legend with the soul and sensitivity of a poet. For over a quarter-century, Stern had one of the most prolific writing careers in Hollywood, penning films including Rebel Without a Cause, Rachel, Rachel, and Sybil; in 1983, at the pinnacle of his career, he abruptly left Hollywood for good and moved to the Pacific Northwest.


These days, Stern devotes his still-considerable energies to mentoring younger writers, teaching a screenwriting class at the University of Washington, and caring for animals. He has been married to wife Marilee for 25 years. He volunteers weekly at Woodland Park Zoo, and regularly visits Bert and Ernie, two Dexter cattle he helped find a home at a farm for disadvantaged children.


Monday, September 05, 2005


Sunday, September 04, 2005

Green Genes

Saving Breeds Created for Grass

2005 American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
Annual Conference and Members Meeting

To be held in Fort Collins and Greeley, Colorado

October 7, 8 & 9, 2005

Held in cooperation with
USDA/ ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation
and American Grassfed Association

Registration Deadline is Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Register online here.
Questions, contact the ALBC -
Phone: 919-542--5704
Fax: 919-542-5704
E-mail: albc@albc-usa.org

Fall is Full

It was nice to arrive home and find the autumn issue of the PDCA Record in my mailbox. This is a full sized issue and I've only had an opportunity to skim through it but I can tell you that it has a great color centerfold. Looks like lots of interesting and informative articles. So depending on where you live and your mail service, you can be looking forward to another great issue arriving soon.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Heading North...

Back in a few days.

PDCA - One Google