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Glen Oakes Cows

About our cows

Introducing our gorgeous little black cattle, the smallest of all cattle breeds – The Dexter.

The Dexter breed originated in Ireland and have become more and more popular in America, Australia and here in South Africa. They are particularly hardy, non-selective grazers, and happy to eat a variety of different grasses.

Dexters are half the size of the normal sized cow. Mature bulls weigh around 450-500kg and the cows between 270-300kg.  This makes them very popular with small scale farming. The carcass size is far more manageable and the cattle are easy to handle due to their size, friendly temperaments and versatility.

Dexters are either short or long-legged. They are typically horned although a polled cow is not uncommon. Dexter cattle carry both the black and red coloured gene, but black is the most predominant colour. Dexter cows are particularly good mothers, calve easily and have ample milk. They are a dual-purpose breed, used for both milk and meat.

Our Dexters are a great help in “cleaning up” the pastures – they eat all the longer less palatable grasses the pigs prefer not to eat.  Yes, pigs are selective!!!

We rear our youngsters for beef.  Dexter meat has a distinct flavour and dark in colour. It is also famous for its marbling (fat distribution in the muscle) which makes it popular for producing Charcuterie (curing) as this fat allows for more flavour and better preserving whilst drying naturally.