All About Miniature Cattle
Why mini cattle?
Docile and sweet temperament
- Easy to work with and care for
- Small body frame
- Unique-a real attention getter
- A pet, great for kids
- 4-H, FFA projects
- Petting zoos
- Hardy, adapts well to all environments
- Excellent feed converters
- No special food needed
- Less pasture space needed
- Easier on pastures and fences
- Mature earlier
- Tender meat due to muscle cell structure
- Larger rib eye area
- Less manure
- Ease of calving
- Many breeds are polled (no horns)
- Some areas offer tax breaks to cattle owners ( no one specifies how big the cows need to be!)
Two miniature cattle can be kept per acre of pasture, where it takes 5 acres for two full size cattle. You can raise 10 miniature cattle on five acres quite well.
Those 10 mini cows will provide about 6,000 pounds of beef on the hoof, compared to as much as 3,000 pounds that could come from two full-size cattle.
That's true because of the feed efficiency of the animals, and their hooves are smaller so they won't tear up the pasture, which helps maintain the grass they feed on.
While some people look to save money by buying an entire cow or a side of beef, it can be difficult to store the hundreds of pounds of meat from a 1,200- to 1,500-pound steer, of which about 40 percent makes it to the freezer.
Miniature cattle, which often are between 500 and 700 pounds, provide enough meat to last a family of four six months. That's just about the freezer shelf life of beef.
But honestly, most of our calves sell as pasture pets!
There are several breeds of miniature cattle, mostly based on full size cattle of the same breed. Our cows are mostly mixed breed--Dexter,Hereford, White Park, and Lowline Angus. Our current herd bull is a registered Hereford.