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Dexter cattle are extremely small with a broad, deep torso. They have very short legs with an outstandingly strong angulation of the hind legs and heavily muscled hindquarters. Usually animals of this breed are black, occasionally there are also red or grey- brown animals. White spots can sometimes occur on the udder or scrotum. In cows, the horns point upwards. 

Dexter Kuh mit Kalb

Direction of use

Dexter cattle are a dual-purpose breed with beef as the main use and milk playing a secondary role. For their size, the animals reach an amazing milk performance of an average of 2,500kg/year and 4.3% fat. The breed is both undemanding and long-living.

Statistics & Distribution

  • Austria: 300 animals
  • Breed proportion in Austria: 0.02%

This breed is represented by numerous small herds in the UK and in several other countries. In Germany Dexter herds can be found both in Taunus and in Northern Germany.


Control farms (Herds): 12

Height (cm, Ø): 105

Weight (kg, Ø): 325

Animals in control farms: 207

Registered cows: 0

Origin: Kerry (IRL)


Original type: Branched breed of Irish Kerry-cattle

18th century: Origin of the breed in the South West of Ireland by Mr. Dexter

1845: Oldest report about this breed

1882: Imports to the U.K.

1887: First Herd Book in Ireland

1905: Establishment of the „Dexter Cattle Society“