Welcome to Moosters Meadows - home of Irish Dexter Cattle! We strive to breed a truly dual purpose Dexter, providing both excellent beef and milk. All of our Dexters are purebred and registered with the American Dexter Cattle Association (ADCA). We'll be blogging about what goes on here on our little ranch in Wyoming and life with Dexters. Feel free to visit our website as well.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

High Wind Warning

From the National Weather Service:

Our weather forecast is proving to be extremely correct this morning.  It is literally snowing sideways and visibility is poor.  Good thing we planned to stay home for New Year's Eve!

The gusts are bending the cottonwoods from side to side.  We're nearly certain that we'll lose a few more before this is over.  Sounds like a train coming......

The boys are pretty well protected from the winds and the snow coming from the north and west.  The girls have protection with windbreaks - both natural and manmade.  Fortunately, there's no bitter cold accompaning the high winds, so we're all better off than in previous years - - this time

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Moosters Meadows to all of you from each of us!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just another day at the hay feeders

Got treats? 

My favorite Dexter (aside from Yanni - my best bud) changes from week to week.  This week, it's Bessie.  Her registered name is a number and she's ever so much more than just a number.  Lately she's been first up from the herd to greet me.  I can rub her all over with no fuss.  Since she arrived home with us late in the summer, she's become more and more friendly.  Now she's my best girl! 

Dance knows that his time with the girls is nearly over.  We'll have a few fall calves next year.  He's had the herd all to himself, but that's going to be changing really soon.  He'll have to go back to being one of the boys in a week or so.  Some Christmas present........  He's such a good boy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Just Rambling

Winter update in Wyoming:  11 below last night (not including the wind chill)!  Everything is moving pretty slowly this morning.  Hay is disappearing much faster from the feeders - keeping those bellies filled keeps Moosters warmer in this weather.  Starting the tractor ought to be a good time today!

A Belated welcome to our latest Moosters from Missouri:  Last month we made the long trek to Missouri pulling a trailer that made our rig almost as long as a semi.  A very long detour to get there and back (who knew that the flooding along the river last summer would still be an issue?).  Six very nice cows, three very nice bull calves (soon to be steers), and two bulls destined for Tiny Twisters made the trip back to Wyoming in great shape.  Can't really say the same for the two humans involved, but we made it!  Here are a few of our latest additions:

That's SF Mulgwen and two of the bull calves.  Neither belong to her, but they seem pretty attached to her anyway.  She's a fine older cow with the most beautiful face, nicest build and amazing horns.  We're hoping for a few red calves in her future.

Gladhour Rominy Reah - a very pretty girl with a super nice udder and another pretty face!  She's polled and potentially homozygous polled at that!  Seems like we've been trying to buy her forever and now she's here!

Gladhour Swallow -  lovely horns and a great traditional Dexter look.  Not the best picture by any means; it just doesn't do her justice.

At this point, we're sure they are wondering what the heck with the weather!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chow Time

It's been a bit busy around Moosters Meadows lately, so not many pictures have been taken.  A post without pictures isn't much fun, so the camera finally made it outside today.  All three feeders for the big herd were empty.  If you are a Mooster, that's serious!

Time to fill the feeders!  The girls hear the tractor and come running when it starts up.  The biggest challenge is to get the bale into the feeder without three or four cows attached to it. 

They will follow those round bales anywhere!

Even Miss Carnival comes to the sound of the tractor delivering hay....   She's getting so tall already.  Lots of leg!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

 Sometimes it's more work than play at Moosters Meadows.  This was definitely not a play day!  We were holding two bulls in our corrals for Tiny Twisters (the bulls had hitched a ride home with us when we picked up our latest cows - more on that later).  Our corrals weren't exactly designed with horned bulls in mind. 

Let's just say that we learned that a water hydrant can be unscrewed (and bent) by a bull who needs to rub against something.  The offending bull (pictured behind the tractor above) had managed to twist the hydrant round and round enough that it came undone - not broken - five feet below ground.  Hoping that it was black gold bubbling from the ground rather than water (well, we can always hope), we discovered the source of the leak and the digging started.
Our soil turns to quicksand when wet like this.  More than once I thought Chris was going to sink to China!  That mud weighs a ton per shovel full!

The hydrant has been replaced (and surrounded by posts to prevent this from happening again), the water has been turned back on, and the bulls have moved on to their new homes. 

We're just happy that this didn't happen when it was 30 below!  Winter is coming to Wyoming.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A True Disappointment

Wynter did not become pregnant last year and she came up open again this year.  Since she's such a beautiful girl, we were naturally disappointed that we haven't had a calf (despite using two separate bulls).  Given that it's nearly time to put the "fall calf" girls in with the bulls, we decided it was time to have her vet checked so as not to go through the issue again.

After a full pelvic exam, our wonderful vet delivered the bad news.  She has ovaries and a uterus, but they are not free floating as they should be.... she'll never be able to have a calf.  He said it could have been a result of an infection that never manifested externally or it could be a congenital defect.  In either case, the news was just bad.

She'll be our first cull animal.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Carnival has arrived!

 She's here!  It seems like we've all been waiting forever for her arrival.  Meet ES Carnival Red, the daughter of MornStar Seana and Tama Titanium.  We knew that Seana's calf would be both red and polled, but we still had the excitement of waiting to see if it would be a bull or a heifer.  Carnival was bred by Elissa Emmons in Texas.  We purchased Seana at the AGM in Stillwater this summer.  Thanks Elissa!

She arrived while we were on our long planned cruise vacation (Carnival - get it!?!) on Friday.  A Murphy's Law kind of thing -- we were certain that Seana was going to calve on the day we left for the airport, but she managed to hold out for six more days.  Glad we didn't wait!
Mother and daughter are doing fine.  Seana has one of the nicest udders we've ever seen and she's a really sweet mom.
Seana loves her treats - with or without Carnival nearby.  She is a treat hound (which means we can always get great pictures of her)......

Friday, October 7, 2011

Moosters Big and Small

 Meet the smallest Moosters - Johnny Ringo and (sometimes known as) Lily.  Their parents are our two adult mini schnauzers, Brewster and Ripley.  Johnny Ringo will be staying here at Moosters Meadows.  Lily will be heading for her new home in Colorado in about two weeks.  We're pretty attached to both of them, so it's going to be hard to say good bye to Lily. 

Here's our largest Mooster - Gladhour Winchester.  He's a big marshmallow!  Winchester was born here, left us for a while and has returned home - much to our delight.  He hasn't changed much (other than those extra 700 pounds or so) since he was a little bull.  He still loves to have his curlies scratched, is a treat hound and just a true gentle giant.  He's halter trained and will be the sire for about a half dozen of our spring 2011 calves.
Today we turned Yellowstone and Harper out with the big boys.  As you can see, Winchester is happily welcoming the little guys to the bull pasture.  All's well in the land of the boys.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Goodbye to Four Footed Friends.....

Sometimes they are born here; sometimes they arrive from elsewhere.  Sometimes they get sold.  This month a few of our four footed friends have been sold - to wonderful families, I might add.  The last of this year's sales left yesterday and we are going to miss them.  Our reasons for sale are as varied as the Dexters themselves.  We always strive to make a good fit between our Dexters and their new owners.

Elsie is off to Cheyenne.  She's bred to Winchester and should have a wonderful (dun) calf in the spring.  She's going to be a milk cow!  Her temperament is so suited to milking.  She's easy to lead and handle, including her udders.  She's interested in everything and truly sweet.  We hope Addison enjoys her as much as we have!

Yardley and Wish are safely settled today in Blackfoot, Idaho.  Wish is perfect with another buddy or two.  She's a bit skittish in a big herd, so we think she and Yardley are going to make great pals and super Dexters for their new owners.  Wish is sweet natured, but shy so she will be happier with only one or two pals.  Yardley is still really young but she enjoys brushing and petting.  She'll grow up to be a fine young heifer.  We're going to miss them both, but know that they will have a great home with Page and Natalie.

We haven't yet decided our perfect herd size.  So far, so good, as we are able to "visit" with them nearly every day.  It means we know the personalities of each of our Dexters.....and they know us. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Things We Learned at the Fair

We learned that Yanni liked the hay that was all around her, but none of it that was in front of her.  She stole from her new friends on the right and from her new friends behind her, but she refused her own hay after her taste testing!  Lucky for her, her new pals liked her hay and their owners were kind enough to share with her...  one of those literal "the grass is always greener" things!

We learned that the arena is much bigger than we imagined - much bigger!  It even had a big screen TV....not that we noticed once we were in the ring. 

We learned that you can hurt someone with the show stick (should have practiced lots more walking with it).  You can poke someone's eye out with those things.  Yanni did well despite my poor handling.

We learned that we won first place in the Late Heifer class and Young Heifer Reserve Champion!

And again, most importantly, we learned that we were surrounded by awesome Dexters and Dexter breeders who share of their time, expertise and hay (thanks to you all!).  Our sincerest thanks to all our Dexter friends who helped us before, during and after the Fair.  It was the perfect learning experience and we can't wait to do it again - regardless of the outcome.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dexters in the Mist

When we first got up this morning, our entire world was gray.  We could barely see past the edge of our deck.  It's getting lighter now - a little.  Stepping outside, we could hear the gentle calling of Dexters trying to find one another.......like a game of Marco Polo. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Great Dexter Day

Labor Day was spent with new and old Dexter friends learning more grooming/clipping skills for showing.  The beauty parlor was open for business!  We set up the cow wash (aka the grooming chute) in as much shade as we could find.  Pete and Kristie trailered two of their show prospects as our "show and tell" subjects.  Jim and Peggy made a return visit to teach/remind us how to prepare Dexters for showing.  After showers and blow drys, hair was flying as the clippers (and kids) performed magic! 

We can't show at the N.I.L.E. this year due to other commitments, but there will be lots of beautifully groomed Dexters in Billings - no question about that!

Dexter burgers, peaches and Dexter cream, and banana <dexter>cream pie were on the menu as we all relaxed after our most enjoyable learning experience!  Thanks so much to Jim and Peggy for driving down from South Dakota.  Not only do we love our Dexters, but we also feel so fortunate that Dexter breeders are so generous with both time and knowledge!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weaning is Loud!

We separated the last three calves yesterday for weaning.  Oh! the noise.  It was very cool last night and very loud with the windows open.  Bawling babies and crying mommas make for a long night for all of us.

Fenceline weaning is our way of trying to keep the stress levels down for both moms and kids, but it doesn't lower the decibel level at all.
The kids got fitted for halters today.  They get tied off to the fence post for a while to help them figure out that they can't get away.  Yellowstone figured it all out quickly and was really calm.

Daddy 'Dance came over to tell him that it would be okay......

Harper was so relaxed that he didn't even run away after he'd been untied.  He wasn't too interested in his feed though.  We know that will change soon enough!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


More about showing at the Nebraska State Fair in another post.  Suffice it to say that we were thrilled with Yanni's performance and our results.  The real result, though, was a wonderful few days with other Dexter owners who unselfishly shared their time and expertise throughout our entire "first timer" experience.  We say thanks to all of you!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

Three of these are now tucked safely in the barn!  Winter can arrive whenever it wants now!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Road to the Fair

Just under two weeks until the State Fair in Nebraska.  Grand Island - here we come!

Showing is a whole new adventure for us.  The learning curve is steep especially since we didn't have this experience when we were younger.  It's all new.  Given that we are learning everything as we go, the decision to start with calves was probably a good one.  They are a bit easier to manage while we are "learning" on them!

Yesterday we took Yanni on a 30 mile ride to the south so that she could have a manicure:

What an experience!  The tilt table is a fascinating piece of equipment, but isn't really Dexter-sized.  In any case, this was a first for Yanni (and us).  Her hooves look beautiful now.   When she was even younger, she'd damaged the side of her back hoof a bit.  It was growing out, but raggedly.  The hoof trimming took care of that and more....  All look neat and even now.

A few hours later, off to the next appointment for vet health certificates, a half hour to the north.  This is the second visit for the girls - the first required a blood draw for BVD testing (a requirement for showing in Nebraska). 

Yanni is explaining to Cinder that her manicure was wonderful, but she sure is tired of riding around in the trailer. 

At this point, we've pretty well decided that Cinder isn't going to be show material, even though we registered her for the fair.  However, Yanni needs a companion so Cinder is coming along for the ride anyway!  She's actually easier to work with than Yanni... 

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to prepare for the Fair!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Before and After

Before - with his little horns poking through
After - no more horns

This is our little Yellowstone before and after his dehorning.  He was joined by Harper and Yardley at our vet's office for the procedure.  In a week or two, after his hair begins to grow back,  you won't even know that those little nubbies were ever present on the top of his head. 

We weren't sure if Yardley was horned or scurred to begin with, but the vet agrees that although her horns were tiny, they were indeed horns.  She is a horned heifer from two polled parents.  Yes, it is possible.  Since both of our polled parents were heterozygous, Yardley had a 25% chance of being horned.  You can read more about the genetics here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bye Bye to Welcome and Yoshi

Welcome and her 2011 bull calf, Moosters Yoshi are on the way to their new home today.  Yoshi has turned out to be a nice little herd sire prospect - one of the first sons from our red polled USommDance.  So far, we are really pleased with his sons and his daughters.

Thanks and good luck with your new herd additions Paul!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

These are a few of our favorite things....

Calves - Yanni and Yzanomma (aka Cinder) waiting for dinner to arrive.  They are wearing fly collars in lime green.  While we're not sure how truly effective the collars might be, it sure makes for wonderful smelling heifers!

Pregnancy tests from BioPryn!  Thanks to our wonderful vet and his patient lessons, we've learned to draw blood ourselves so that we can do our preg testing through BioPryn.  30 days from breeding to Yes! she's pregnant on heifers.  90 days from the last calf (and 30 days post breeding) on cows.  Fast, simple and accurate. 
Feeders from GoBob.  These are the Hay Monsters and we expect that they are going to help us conserve a LOT of hay this winter.  Prior to ordering these guys, we'd been feeding bales without feeders.  Lots of waste - and at the price of hay this year, we believe that our payback will be under a year.  We can attest to the durability of the Hay Monster, having watched one fall from the back of a flatbed to a paved parking lot.....not even a dent!  The third feeder is in the corral where we've been carefully watching girls with horns using it.  They figured out quickly how to get their heads in and out.  Very little wasted hay anywhere. 

It's still really hot, but we are grateful for our cooler evenings and the bit of rain this week.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our Girl Fawn

 That's our girl, Fawn, on the left.  Her 2011 heifer calf, Moosters Yanni, is at her side.  Fawn is one of our favorites because she never disappoints.  Her daughters are all carbon copies of her - with or without horns.  We love this look!  Yanni is polled. 

That's Moosters XCitement, her 2010 heifer, following Fawn in the above picture.  She's dehorned, but another carbon copy of her mom.  XCitement has moved to her new home in Powell, Wyoming.
And finally, MM Wynter, Fawn's 2009 heifer.  She's hard to tell from her mom from a distance.  She's a keeper, so we chose to keep her horns as well.  They are truly beautiful! 

Fawn's also our herd leader.  She passes her temperament on to her girls.  All of her calves have been easy to halter train and are smart - just like their momma!