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.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


We've only had a few cases of  bloat, but we sure know what it looks like when we see it!  This is River, yesterday, when she arrived at the vet's office.  Distended left side (sounds like a hollow watermelon when you tap on it) indicating a rumen filled with unexpelled gas. 

Our vet is simply the best, but he's not always going to be available when we need him.  Soooo, this time we used the experience as both a "fix" for River and a teaching moment for us.  That silver thing is called a Frick speculum.  It's going to be inserted into River's mouth to keep her from biting down. We don't want her to bite the rubber tubing and swallow bits of it - and - heaven forbid - make things worse.

The rubber tube gets a little bit of lubricant on the end to make it easier to swallow (whole!).


The tube is in ......  listening for escaping gas.........

Mixing some mineral oil (to defoam any froth in the rumen) with some water.  And yes, that is a stomach pump.

Mineral oil and water being pumped into her rumen

All the parts come out for a while so that the mineral oil can do the job

Back in again, whereupon huge amounts of not so sweet smelling gas comes boiling out of the tube

Presto (and the picture didn't come out)!  River was her svelte self again and appeared to immediately feel better.  She deflated very fast when Chris hit the pocket of air.

When we all got home, I ordered the speculum and some tubing for our house.  Stomach pumps can be improvised with a large syringe.  We could probably come up with something for the speculum as well, but we liked the smooth rounded edges - no further damage to our girls.

All in all, we learned a lot and we're so happy for a vet who is always willing to teach us how to help ourselves.  Thanks Dr. Harty.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Yes, I did shed a tear this time

It's a fact of life that steers are destined for the table - might be ours - might be someone else's.  I know this.  Really.

Unfortunately, I fell in love and that changed everything.  Raisin is a steer.  Raisin became my pet after he was born last year.  He grew and grew, but his sweet nature just got bigger too.  He literally followed me like a large overgrown dog.  How in the heck could I eat my pet? 

Well, I couldn't.  So we sold him to someone who will enjoy his sweetness as he teaches a lot of little steers how to behave.  Then he'll "do his job" as Chris calls it and grace someone else's table.

Bye, little Buddy.  I loved you best.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Oh, No, It Can't Really Be September

August disappeared in a fog and September isn't faring much better.....  We have a bit of a break now before our final show of the year (the N.I.L.E. in Billings, Montana) in October.  At this point, we are so far behind, we are going to need every minute to catch up on summer chores and begin getting ready for winter.  Two years ago, we had planned to drive to Billings to watch the Dexter show.  We ended up staying home due to a minor blizzard.  Oh yes, winter can arrive pretty darn early.

It was hotter than heck in Nebraska, but we sure do love the beef barn there.  It's spacious, well designed, and connected to the air-conditioned show arena (my favorite place this year!).  We earned our share of bling there and had a great time with all of the other Dexter folk. 
One of the things that stood out most in Nebraska was that the judge took time out during our show to complement the Dexter breeders on the camaraderie among our group.  The spirit of cooperation and helping each other is one of the aspects of Dexterdom that isn't often commented about, but it is always evident when we meet up with folks who enjoy Dexters!  The judge also commented on the absolute quality that Dexter breeders bring to the show ring.  Apparently that isn't always the norm within other breeds.
We were also thrilled that Rick Seydel choose to take his championship cow/calf pair to the Parade of Champions.  They were excellent representatives of our breed and deserved every minute of the spotlight!

In Utah, not quite so much bling (although Alan was the Reserve Champion Bull), but we sure like the traffic in the barn.  There's nothing more fun than watching a child pet a "cow" for the very first time.  Calli spends lots of our barn time introducing various members of the show team to the hundreds of children who walk through the barn.

Chris and Calli getting Alan ready to go for his bull calf class.  She worked non-stop with him to keep him properly set up in the ring (and they looked just perfect together).  He's still wearing his rope halter over his show halter in this picture.  Alan is a wondeful little carrier bull who drew every child into his circle of "special" this year.

This week has been one of cleaning up, cleaning out, a ranch afternoon with the vet and convincing our dogs that we won't be away so long next time!  As Dorothy says "there's no place like home!"  Glad to be here again!