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Dexter Cattle


Recognised indigenous

Further Key Characteristics

The Dexter is an ancient native Irish cattle breed, which until as recently as 1876 was considered to be the same breed as the Kerry. However wholly red, wholly black or wholly dun are official colours of the Dexter, although it may have small amounts of white on the underside, behind the navel and on the tip of the tail. Horns white with black tips. The Dexter is a short-legged breed, with a short thick neck. The breed is smaller than the Kerry and can survive extreme harsh conditions on poor quality land.

This native breed has seen a recent increase in numbers in Ireland but numbers are still very low with approx. 1000 breeding females in the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Dexter Group was set up in 2014 to help develop the breed. This group has progressed market development for the breed in recent years and has also explored certain other areas that might enhance the breed.

Case Studies

The impact of grazing by Irish Moiled and Dexter cattle on soft rush.

Breed Societies

Tom McDonald,
Ass. Secretary,
Irish Dexter Group,
Co. Tipperary.

Suitable Habitat Types




Meet The Farmers

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