— The Openherd Team

Irish Dexter Cattle

Dexters are hardy, sturdy cattle that are sure-footed on almost any terrain. They thrive on quality pasture or hay, but are also efficient foragers and aggressive browsers, helping to clear brushy, weedy areas when given access to them. Because of their small size and thriftiness, they require less pasture space than large breed cattle and are easier on the land and fences. With so many benefits, Dexters make good sense for the small family farm as well as large ranching operations. No other bovine can satisfy such a diverse market. 

Dexters are a small, tri-purpose cattle breed, being raised for milk, meat and draft. They are not miniature cattle; they were initially bred as a naturally small bovine and they have maintained their small, hardy constitution to the present. Pound for pound, Dexters are efficient food producers, economically turning forage into rich milk and quality meat.



Dexter Beef

Our beef is raised naturally on grass and hay.  We do not feed processed, pelleted or finisher feeds. Instead of man-made elixirs, we breed for a quality animal that will easily lay down a layer of fat when supplemented on what nature intended them to eat.  The proof is in the cuts.

The Dexter cattle's claim to fame is it's high yield.  Yield is the amount of packaged product that goes into your freezer after the carcass is cut. A good yield on a typical beef breed is around 65%.

Dexter steer yields range between 72 - 77%.  This is due to the Dexter's finer bone and a careful breeding program of crossing choice bloodlines with good food conversion, and thick, long, deep bodies.

Taste tests, and customer feed-back, have proven we raise a fantastic cut of beef.  Know where your beef comes from.  No more scary grocery E. coli recalls, Pink Slime, or antibiotic and hormone tainted meat.

Dexter History


The native home of the Dexter is in the southern part of Ireland where they were bred by small land holders and roamed about the shelter-less mountainous districts in an almost wild state of nature. The first recorded knowledge of Dexters in America is when more than two hundred Dexters were imported to the US between 1905 and 1915.

They can now be found in nearly every climate and region in the United States. In recent years there has been a worldwide surge of interest in Dexter cattle. Their hardy constitution, versatile adaptability, thrifty nature, high fertility, and low rate of calving difficulties continue to make them appealing to ranching operations of any size.