I have a small grade Dexter heifer. I bought her planning to raise my own beef for my freezer. I grew up raising Angus and while I love the look of Angus, didn't want the fencing challenges (really, the rumors aren't exaggerated!) and only have five small acres. My little Dexter girl is pretty perfect for my set-up.
The question I have is hopefully not inappropriate for this forum. Elsa will probably top out at about 500 lbs; I'd like to breed her to a small Angus bull but am not sure HOW small I need to be looking. What is the average birth weight of a Dexter calf? I've heard of others who've done this cross, but don't know any personally and I don't want to risk Elsa.
Thanks for weighing in. :) I did indeed decide to wait on breeding her; she's still growing. With our Angus, we never bred while they were still gaining both height and weight, so it'll be the same for Elsa. I figure, just because they *can* be bred, doesn't mean they should be.
I do know that lowlines are real Angus. :) They're actually what Angus were when I was a kid. I haven't seen any around here though. I'll have to check out the possibility.
From the description, Dexter meat is similar to dairy breeds--they have a stronger flavor than the traditional meat breeds. Many people like that; I don't.
I didn't know that the beta carotene from grass is what makes the fat yellow. Thank you for that bit of trivia! Our cattle always grazed, and were supplemented heavily with grain the last 90 days--but the fat was white. It's a quirk of mine; I prefer white fat. ;) Maybe knowing the facts behind it will help change my tastes. OTOH, I can always have a whole bunch of it made into hamburger. ;) That's not actually a bad thing for me; I use lots of ground beef.
I'd love to have my own bull, but my pasture is in danger of being overgrazed already. So another Dexter is out of the picture for now. On the bright side, I have time to research and make the best choice for both me AND Elsa.