Welcome to the East Anglian Dexter Cattle Group website, a division of the Dexter Cattle Society, a nationwide society concerning the smallest breed native to Britain.
The Dexter originated in the South Western region of Ireland. Like the Kerry, they are descended from the predominately black cattle of the early Celts. The Dexter breed is the smallest British breed of cattle, standing 92cm - 107cm at the shoulder. The success of the Dexter over the last 25 - 30 years is quite outstanding. The breed's ability to adapt to varying and extreme climatic conditions and to different systems of management is a typical characteristic. Now considered well established in many parts of the world, having been exported to Australia, New Zealand, Cuba, Argentina, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Italy, Belgium, Denmark and Germany, the breed has dedicated societies in many of these countries, demonstrating the popularity, durability and appeal of the breed.
The meat is well marbled and of very high quality, dexter beef is very popular with the consumer, through farm shops, farmers markets and home freezer consuption due to its outstanding flavour, small joints and minimal waste. Due to its small size the dexter is ideal for those with small buildings and animals are happy to be wintered outside. As an early maturing breed, steers can be finished on grazing at twenty to twenty-four months with no suplermentary feeding. Their size also affects their meat to bone ratio favourably, resulting in a killing out percentage of 56%. It is these factores that make the breed so economically appealling.