The Home Dairy

The Alvecote Herd

Dexter Cheese

Say Cheese..

The increasing concern over antibiotics is perhaps the most compelling reason of all to start producing your own milk and dairy products. There are many good books and lots of information on the internet to help get you started.

Home Dairy

The Dairy

Sadly, there are no longer any commercial Dexter dairy herds remaining, as the policy for purchasing wholesale milk and the stringent dairy/hygiene regulations in this country does not encourage the small producer. Fortunately, you do not need a dedicated dairy/milk parlour for home production to supply your immediate household.

Dexter Milk for the House

Milk for the House

Although considered a dual-purpose breed, back in the day when Dexter milk herds were in ascendance, average yields were almost 3,000 litres per lactation and some even exceeded 4,000 litres. Due to the longevity of the Dexter, its lifetime yield often exceeded that of most dairy breeds of the time.

Straining the Curds

Separating Curds

Cows (of any breed) do not naturally give up their milk to humans and must be trained to do so - an important safety consideration when choosing your first house cow. Growing popularity of Dexter beef has led to a decline in the quantity of milk produced in some herds and the number of house cows available which is a great pity, as Dexter milk has many benefits.

Strawberries and Dexter Cream

Real Dairy Cream

Dexter milk is very high quality with good levels of protein and butterfat content. It is most excellent for cheesemaking athough a centrifugal cream separator can be very useful for producing cream (and butter).

Dexter cow and calf

Calf Enjoying Breakfast

Those seeking an easier route or who have less time to spare when keeping a house cow, leave the calf with its dam and just take a little of the surplus milk for themselves. Sharing milk is considered by some to be a more welfare friendly option.

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