Does the “Witch Hunt” on Short legged Dexters exist? Just make you own decision.
We felt in love with American/Irish Dexters because of their size, disposition and their unique look. Such kind of appearance is called Dwarfism – Dexter type moderate chondrodysplasia - a compact body type characterized by short legs, wide skull and thick body.
Over decades judges in the Show Ring used to give a preference to animals with this look. Therefore, for a long period of time among other features Dexters were bred in a large portion for the Dwarfism as well. Currently, a considerable amount of the Dexters’ gene pool is consolidated in these cute Short legged animals.
By Nature, Short legged Dexters are carrying the chondrodysplasia (“bulldog”) gene. An existence of this gene defines the unique look of Dexters and if herd improperly managed the gene could cause an aborted “bulldog” calf. In the worst case scenario a probability is 25%.
The easiest, cheap, 100 % guarantee and the responsible way to avoid “bulldog” calves is just take into consideration 3 following steps.
In case you already felt in love with a Short legged bull (I really can imagine it) you should have all his girls tested. In a calving season you will have 50% Short and 50% Long legged calves.
An alternative way to exclude “bulldog” calves in a herd is "not to buy them at all" - to eliminate this “scary” gene from the pool. To do this one has to hunt this gene and finally and hopefully this someone will achieve the goal – all Short legged cutes will disappear and would probably never appear in a Dexter herd again in the future. To avoid “bulldog” calves in a herd by hunting the gene someone has to follow the simple steps.
1. Hate Short legged Dexters deep in his/her heart.
2. Fully understand that it is dramatically reducing the Dexters’ gene pool.
3. Truly understand that it is crushing efforts of generations of previous Dexters’ breeders.
4. If started from scratch this someone should save money according to a simple formula - $30 should be multiplied by the # of animals in a herd. All Dexters in this herd should be tested for the Chondodysplasia to eliminate those which have one.
5. Slaughter all Chondodysplasia positive animals including offspring of both sexes.
6. Enjoy the rest, Kerry type regular cow.