III) There are very few areas of the British Isles where cattle can be kept
outside all year round even when the soil conditions are suitable. If the weather is particularly bad for a
prolonged period then the cows should be provided with adequate shelter to avoid harm to their welfare. In the summer months
biting flies can be problematical if cattle are not able to seek refuge indoors.
Since cows spend fifty percent of their day lying down, it is important that they are encouraged to express this natural behaviour by keeping resting areas dry.
Do they eat much?
I) Dexters are renowned for their thriftiness but that does not mean they live on fresh air! Their staple diet in the summer is grass and unlike many other breeds, particularly the continentals, the Dexter will produce fine quality milk and beef on good grass alone. They are very useful for clearing up areas of scrub land if higher production values are of secondary importance.
III) Whilst a purely forage based diet is preferable this should not take priority over animal welfare. During times of bad harvest when good quality forage is not readily available to lactating cows or young stock, then alternative forms of protein should be fed in addition. There are many proprietary concentrate mixtures on the market and these should be fed according to the manufacturer's instructions.