Mostly black & white bovines but an udderly moovelous selection of cow gifts.
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.
Mostly black & white bovines but an udderly moovelous selection of cow gifts.
Click here to find out more about the Royal Welsh Show 2006
T Drew's heifer Higher Keaton Ruby; res, M P Eagling's heifer Mostyn Beauty.
UK FARMER is seriously ill after being crushed by a tractor.
'Jan McCourt whose Northfield Farm in Cold Overton is nationally renowned for the quality of its meat, was airlifted to hospital in agony and is awaiting surgery. Farm spokesman Jo Allen said Jan had broken his pelvis and suffered internal bruising. "He is on an intravenous drip," she added. "Surgeons have delayed an operation until today because he is still in trauma." Jan, 47, earned national headlines 10 years ago when he gave up his job as a City stockbroker to run the 70-acre "rare breed" farm at Cold Overton, where the stock includes Dexter cattle and Gloucester Old Spot pigs.'
The Babcock Institute provides some useful dairy information such as about lactation and milking.
Figure 1: Milk ejection reflex-when the cow is stimulated by touch on the udder skin, the sound of a milking machine or the sight of a calf, nerve impulses pass to the hypothalamus in the brain. The hypothalamus stimulates the posterior pituitary gland to discharge oxytocin. Blood carries this hormone to the myoepithelial cells that surround the alveoli. The contraction of the myoepithelial cells forces the milk into the duct system and the gland cistern. Excitement or pain inhibit the milk ejection reflex.
NSW Department of Primary Industries links to the following:
Full drought feeding principles
Vitamin and mineral additives for sheep and cattle in drought
Calculating quantities for full hand feeding of beef cattle
Full hand feeding management of beef cattle
Production feeding in drought
Checklist for good beef cattle health and management in drought
Survival feeding in drought
Grain poisoning of cattle and sheep
Feeding pelleted rations
Value of feeds
Cane tops as cattle fodder
Hand feeding cattle in drought — grain
Hand feeding cattle in drought — grain/hay
Feeding calves in drought
Risks in grazing or feeding canola
Processing grains for cattle in drought
The History Channel video: Cownicorn
Interbreed KG Freeman and Son's Holstein cow Quality Raider Franbo; res, Buriton Estate's Limousin heifer Miscombe Vanthe.
Interbreed Group Holstein; res, Hereford.
Interbreed Buriton Estate's Limousin heifer Miscombe Vanthe; res, M Hind's Sussex cow Maplesden Snowdrop 20.
Blonde Jones and Garratt's cow Egerton Pandora; res, P de Giles' bull Bilsington Argent.
Charolais R Taylor's bull Burnside Taz; res, RL Potter's heifer Coningsby Ursula.
Simmental CH Carter's bull Astcote Ranger; res, D Wakefield's heifer Oakhill Nelly 17.
Hereford Messrs B, H and MR Myers' heifer Boundless 1 Symphony; res, P Noel and R Snelling's bull Sarabande Bafca.
Limousin Buriton Estates' heifer Miscombe Vanthe; res, Thorndean Farms' bull Quaish Volcano.
Longhorn SE Coleman's bull Blackbrook Newt; res, GH Wild's cow Rifhams Belle.
Sussex M Hind's cow Maplesden Snowdrop 20; res, CE and WS Milson's heifer Trottenden Buttercup 6.
Any Other Native Wetland Trust's Aberdeen Angus bull Rosemead Bill B229; res, W Murphy's Gloucester cow Castlemast Cherrypie.
Crossbred Beef Rupert Taylor's Limousin cross heifer Mini Me; res, Messrs J Wareham and Sons' Limousin cross steer Cheeky.
Interbreed KG Freeman and Son's Holstein cow Quality Raider Franbo; res, JPMH Evelyn's junior Jersey cow Wotton Lemvigs Willow.
Ayrshire MDM and J Howie's junior cow Ridley Hill Lillet; res, Boty Farms' junior cow Haresfoot Bo Peep.
Dexter PW Hunt's cow Saltaire Sharp; res, DL Smith's maiden heifer Moomin Jinglebell.
Holstein KG Freeman and Son's cow Quality Raider Franbo; res, JR Warnock and Sons' junior cow Capelleferne Dante Nerissa P14.
Channel Island JPMH Evelyn's junior Jersey cow Wotton Decadences Yolande; res, JPMH Evelyn's junior Jersey cow Wotton Lemvigs Willow.
UK - Return to the good life
'Susannah will take green-top milk and hand-made butter to market each week, and she may use the cellars in the house to make cheese, because Badlesmere Blue has rather a nice ring to it. Ivon will grow sweet peas and together they will put Dexter cattle in the paddocks for organic beef. "It's best not to think about how much work is involved because otherwise you would never do it," she says.'
(AP) - Five companies do 95 percent of the collecting and distributing of bull semen in the U.S. They are Wisconsin-based ABS Global, Alta Genetics, Cooperative Resources International and Accelerated Genetics, and Plain City, Ohio-based Select Sires Inc.
Artificial insemination is mostly used in dairy cattle because farmers keep them in pens and can better monitor their heat, compared to beef cattle which typically roam pastures.
The conception rates with artificial insemination, done properly, and the natural process are comparable at about 65 to 70 percent.
It's also recently become possible for farmers to pick the offspring's sex, but it's more expensive.
Continue... Facts About the Bull Semen Industry
LINCOLN—No wind along with high humidity and temperatures can spell disaster for cattle if proper procedures aren’t taken to ward off heat stress, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln beef specialist said.
During summer’s hot, humid days, producers need to make sure cattle have plenty of water, said Terry Mader, beef specialist at UNL’s Haskell Agricultural Laboratory near Concord.
“Water is probably the best avenue to dissipate heat,” Mader said. “The cattle don’t have to be thirsty, but if they can consume water and pass that out as urine it removes a lot of heat from the animal in the process.”
Mader said normally cattle intake about 5 to 6 gallons per day depending on the animal. However, that can double or even triple in some feedlots when temperatures rise.
“It’s important that cattle have plenty of access to the water trough as well,” he said. “When there is competition for water space, that creates problems because the dominant animals will occupy waterer space and not allow other animals access.”
Wetting pen surfaces also is beneficial for cooling animals by providing a cool place for cattle to go. Dry surfaces in feedlots can reach temperatures of 150 degrees, he said. Wetting these surfaces cools them down. These surfaces will remain cooler until the added water evaporates, which sometimes can take more than 24 hours.
In an emergency, cattle can be sprayed with water to cool them down. However, once producers start doing that, they need to continue spraying. Spraying cattle with water will allow the animal to rapidly dissipate heat through evaporative cooling processes but this may limit the animals’ ability to adapt to the heat. That’s why it should only be used as an emergency step, Mader said.
Producers also should have an emergency plan in case water supplies are low or cut off.
“Have a plan for obtaining water that is safe for cattle to drink if an emergency should arise,” he said.
Also, be sure there aren’t any structures that restrict airflow.
It’s important to remember that cattle will adapt to weather conditions if they are given enough time, he said.
Usually it’s the rapid changes in weather that cause the biggest problems, Mader said.
“For most animals, give them three to four weeks to adapt to extremes, reduce feed intake, which will therefore reduce the metabolic heat load. Cattle won’t perform as well, but at least they’ll still be alive,” he said.
The first sign of heat stress in cattle is them standing up. This allows them to expose more of their body surface to dissipate heat. Cattle also will bunch when they are hot, and flies and other stressors will only compound the problem, Mader said.
Avoid handling cattle when it’s hot, Mader said. If it is necessary to process cattle, the earlier in the morning the better. Cattle’s body temperatures can rise 0.5 to 3.5 degrees during handling. Cattle that arrive at a packing plant with elevated temperatures can result in carcass defects.
Mader also suggests feeding cattle most of the day’s feed several hours after the day’s peak temperature in the late afternoon or evening.
Avoid filling up cattle with feed late in the morning when the added heat generated by digestion will peak around the hottest time of the day, he said.
“We see the greatest stress problems when cattle consume large amounts of feed in the morning, then body temperatures shoot up in the afternoon and environmental temperatures rise rapidly,” Mader said.
Also, remember dark-hided cattle are more susceptible to heat stress than light-hided cattle, he said.
“So, watch for the first signs of heat stress in dark-hided cattle that are within 30 to 60 days of slaughter,” he said.
Lowering the energy content in feed also may reduce the amount of heat cattle generate during digestion and may help the animal cope with heat stress.
The Day the Cow Sneezed is a children's book from 1957 written and illustrated by the late James Flora. The book is described as a very tall tale about a cow whose gigantic sneezes cause a glorious escapade of havoc and destruction. Ward Jenkins has an excellent write up about Jim Flora’s children’s book The Day the Cow Sneezed on his blog. Lots of great information pertaining to Flora's illustration and/or design.
PDCA members and subscribers will find in the current issue of "The Record" a couple of really useful Dexter milking articles such as this one by the owner of the Woodmagic herd.
Thomas Shaw (1843-1918), in "The study of breeds in America: cattle, sheep and swine" gave the following description of color which seems to contradict Lydekker's "without a light dorsal streak" and makes no mention of either red or roan:
"The color most in favor is a rich black with, in some instances, a ridge of white along the back and a white streak under the belly, but some are black, brown, black and white and brown and white."
I've had a lot of people ask about the white looking Dexter calves on the cover of The Record. The dun color ranges from blonde to dark brown. Paler duns become more sun bleached during the summer and in certain light may appear almost white. Here's the same photo as the cover from a different angle with the calf's dams upper left:
Just to further confuse the issue of color, two early Dexter references report the color as "roan" rather than "dun":
"The color is variable, and may be black, red or roan." Page 380 of "Cyclopedia of American agriculture: a popular survey of agricultural conditions, practices and ideals in the United States and Canada: Volume III. Animals 1907-1909" by L. H. Bailey, 1858-1954.
"Dexter-Kerries are either black, red, or roan in colour, without a light dorsal streak;" page 96 of "The ox and its kindred" by Richard Lydekker, published in 1912.