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UK Agriculture Livestock Breeds

Livestock Breeds

Welcome to our new section covering common livestock breeds found in the UK. We are grateful to all the breed societies that have so far contributed to this guide.

We hope you find this resource useful, we will be updating this section as more information is collected.


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Champion Royal 2008
Champion Royal 2008

A small cow with a BIG future - the smallest of our native breeds. These lovely livestock are descended from the original mountain cattle of South West Ireland. Dexter cattle are a compact and hardy breed given adequate shelter will stay out all year round. Dexters are of two recognised types - short legged and non-short and they come in three colours - predominantly black but also red and dun.

Being truly dual purpose they are equally good at producing milk and beef.

Dexter beef is traditionally matured with excellent eating quality as seen recently on TV. Small, fine grained, well marbled joints are prefect for today's consumer. Many quality restaurants have this premium beef on their menus already. Kept as a Dairy cow, good Dexters will yield 13 - 18 litres of milk a day. Many cows give more. Butterfat is over 4% and solids are high. On a small scale enterprise two Dexters can be kept for the cost of a larger animal - thus ensuring fresh milk and beef all year round.

Dexters make excellent mothers calving easily they will breed regularly for 14 years and more. Dexters can adapt to extreme climatic conditions and have been exported to all corners of the world.

For further information, please visit the breeds association website:

The Dexter Cattle Society