I'm not on the ADCA site very often but I was surprised and very concerned to see this on the Conformation Page (Education section).
Typical heights of 46 in for cows? and 50 in for bulls?
How can this be? If these are normal "acceptable" measurements now for 3yr olds where is this taking our breed?? For what possible purpose? Ours is supposed to be the smallest breed of cattle.
Breed Associations have the responsibility to Protect heritage breeds.
I can't imagine a "typical" bull (50in at 3 yrs) fully matured at 8 or 10yrs. --- Or worse yet a "larger than typical" at ??.
This is not good! And definitely not good for the breed.
Please, please, please. Think this thing through. The founders of this breed had it right. We have a wonderful, unique breed of cattle. One that I dearly love. We as Dexter Breeders need to hold to the Breed Description. It is our responsibility! Personally within our own herds and together as Associations. This can't be left to continue.
You've confused the word "Typical" with the words "Ideal", or "Guideline"
Nobody altered the guidelines.
It it still says this on the ADCA Website: "According to the guidelines, the ideal three year old Dexter bull measures 38 to 44 inches at the shoulder and weighs less than 1000 pounds. The ideal three year old Dexter cow measures between 36 to 42 inches at the shoulder, and weighs less than 750 pounds."
In another section, they describe what you might "Typically" find in Dexters. Yes, there are are lot of dexters that are shorter than the guidelines and taller than the guidelines. Further, where it mentions the typical heights found in dexters, it does NOT say "at 3 years". There are lots of older Dexter bulls that are 47-50 inches tall... Those taller bulls likely never met the guidelines at age 3.
Just as a point of curiosity for you folks who got confused by this.... Do ALL of YOUR animals meet the guidelines? Do you have any that are shorter or taller than the guidelines?
I personally won't breed out of a bull that doesn't meet the guidelines of 38" to 44" at 3 years of age.
Cascade, you may personally breed to the guidelines of 38'-44" at 3 years but by increasing the acceptable height range others may choose to up-size their herd, which seems to be the American Way. They now have justification to do so. You may find yourself seeking refuge here with those that want to keep to the original design of the breed. If something is allowable it will be done. My Kerrys are not even 50". I don't believe anyone here is "confused". Well, maybe a couple.
Just thought I'd mention Rio Grande Macho was 52 inches at two and a half years. I've got the pics... Can't get more Legacy than that. Y'all forget that earlier owners used chondro to control height so they had some really tall Dexters without it. Some Tak sca du hav were the same way. 46+" cows, boney with bad udders. You newbies need to stop criticizing until you know your facts. c.
Dexter cattle are a unique and diverse breed because of their dwarf origins and the fact that dwarf cattle when bred together can produce small and large. I imagine that is why the original standards were based on WEIGHT not height, and frankly, that seems a good model that should have stayed in place.
What difference does it make? Breeders from the beginning have not been held to any of the published breed standards and they get changed with the whim of any given leadership.
The original breed standard did not know the cause or condition of Chondrodysplasia, just that there were Dwarfs and the Dexter was described as a dwarf breed.
The breed standard also specifically mentioned "Horned breed" meaning capable of producing horns. If you are producing polled animals ,those animals reject the breed standard more surely than leg length.
I think the assumption at the time was that folks who cared about the breed would also try to breed Dexters to Dexters!
So what do you care about height, or dwarfism, if you dont care about deliberate outcrossing?