Although the first written record
of their existence dates from 1776
, the Dexter breed
was almost surely bred
a few centuries earlier. Unfortunately, their history
prior to 1776
is entirely anecdotal
, and not terribly reliable.
It is known that they come from southern Ireland, and have traditionally been used for both milk and meat purposes.
Their most distinctive attribute, however, is their size: they are unbelievably small, closer in size to a large dog than to a normal cow. They are actually rather adorable, although they still produce a respectable quantity of meat and milk.
This node is part of Tem42's list of cattle breeds, entitled, simply, cattle.