Hi all, this is my first post after being only an interested viewer for the past couple of years, so I hope this turns out properly!
I noticed a few people were talking about the square meaters
breed and I used to be of the opinion that they were just another miniature breed aimed at hobby farmers and people who wanted 'pets'. However, I have had the opportunity to work with some over the last two years and this is how the breed has been explained to me:
The thing that separates square meaters
cattle from other miniatures such as lowlines and dexters is that the latter are in every sense of the word 'miniature' while the square meaters
are smaller because of reduced leg length. If you look at each of these breeds and a 'normal' sized breed, the square meaters
are almost if not as long and deep in the body as the full sized breeds. Conversly, the lowline is shorter in the body, with finer bone structure and features. For this reason, square
meater breeders in Australia don't like their cattle being called miniature ( I found this out the hard way!
As for their relevance in the industry, the breed was developed using Murray Greys which displayed the maturity patterns of the 'old style' animals - short legs, thick body, easy fleshing, early maturing. They are a breed which aims to target the domestic vealer market. The idea is that these animals will be sold off the mother and because of their size reach the target weight, but also because of the maturity pattern have the desired finish as well, thus eliminating the need for feeding either on pasture or intensively.
Apologies for the long and rambling post. I just find it interesting that there are many minority breeds out there that are scoffed at by people (myself included) but when you look further there are always positives to every breed.