Ron Metz wrote:I’m curious to know with 50” of rain, how long do your dry spells last?
Ron Metz wrote:Hi Kate,
We chose Dexters because of the native short grasses in our area and the limited rainfall. We typically average about 19 inches of rain per year. So far this year we have had about 17 inches. We have extended periods of no rain and hot weather. During those times our native grasses go dormant to survive. The stocking rate rule for our area for the typical sized beef animal is one cow/calf pair per 19 acres. However with Dexters, we were able to comfortably stock 19 head on just under 50 acres. Of those 19 head, there are two steers, one bull, two coming 2 year old heifers and the rest were cow/calf pairs. That is roughly 2.6 acres per head and cow/calf pair. In areas with higher rainfall, good rich grass and using rotational grazing and good management you could conceivably stock two possibly three cow/calf pairs per acre. Just remember as that calf grows so does it’s nutritional requirements and if all you have is an acre I wouldn’t try the three cow/calf pairs.
As I mentioned earlier, we don’t milk our Dexters. If you would like, I can put you in touch with a lady that used to have a Dexter creamery and made artisan cheeses. She still has some Dexters she milks for her own use. Send me a pm with your contact info and I will ask her if she would be willing to fill you in.
Andrew Mayflower wrote:What would be a good rough estimate of cows/acre (or acres/cow) for Dexters? Assume temperate climate, moderate to high rainfall (50"/year). Intensive rotation (max 3 days per paddock, average 1-2 days) would possibly be employed.
Oh yeah, no irrigation. So dry months might require hay rather than grazing.