Mini/Toy Cattle Breeds

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Dec 30, 2003
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I am curious to know just how many Miniature/Toy Cattle breeds there are. I'm thinking about getting some....but it seems so confusing at times. (All the different crosses & what they are called!) As far as I can count; there are at least 4 different 'kinds' of belted ones! Is there anybody out there that raises them & do you use them as pets or for the supper table? I'd prefer to raise them to eat. :lol:
Here's a link to a miniature discussion group
just don;t mention eating them to most of these folks. They seem to think they're big messy dogs.

Well, I can only speak for Dexters, not really "miniatures." It seems as if a lot of people are crossing everything with everything to get something smaller and I, personally, wonder where and how that will all end up.... many of them are using Dexters to accomplish the "small" part...Dexters are an old (rare) breed, the smallest true "breed" of cattle, intended as a family milk cow for those who need a gallon or two of milk a day, not 5 gal., and a beef carcass that doesn't require your local Safeway freezer to store it. The meat is supposed to be great and I will find out in a couple of months when we "86" a steer. I guess some people DO keep them as pets and lawn ornaments...hey, why not? They are naturally horned, can be black, dun, or red. We raise breeding stock and some are quite small (we have a couple of 37" cows); others are larger (42" or so). Excellent mothers! Obligated to say that, as with any rare breed, you have to show care in selective breeding to avoid the proverbial "gene pool with no lifeguard!"

Yes, as Dun says, there's a "miniature cattle group," and there is also a Dexter group:

Gale Seddon
I have Miniature Jerseys and a Mini Scottish Highland heifer. Most of the mini breeds stay in the 38"-42" range, but Mini Jerseys can go a little taller, up to 46". My Mini Jersey cows are currently bred to a 35" bull, in the hopes that we can reduce our size a little more.

I expect my cows to be just as ulitarian as their standard counterparts.
Unfortunately, it seems that most breeders of mini cattle don't like to think of them as small steaks. But ecomonically, they're a great alternative for the person with only a small amount of land -- 2-3 minis can be finished on the same amount of feed that 1 standard would take.

There are several breeds available besides the Miniature Jersey, there are also Mini Herefords, Mini Belted Galloways, Sundogs, and Lowline (Mini Black Angus) to name a few.

Here's some links that might be of interest
Go for Mini Herefords. We soon are hoping to get some. But really Unless you don't have the space, I would go for the regular sized cattle.
Ellie May

Here in Australia we have the small breeds,
Lowline,Dexter,Miniature Brangus,Nadudana (small Brahman type)
Miniature Galloway,Hereford and Square Meaters (a small type Murray Grey very similar in stature to the Lowline only a Murray Grey colour/colours)
Most of the miniature breeders here are located within an hour or two of major cities and a just hobby farm cattle or very small acreage cattle.
Often large breed cattle breeders will use a Lowline bull instead of a larger Angus over first calvers.
This year we did have a Belfair Calf born it is a Reversed Belfair Calf, the dam was a Dexter and the sirer was a AI Polled Jersey bull. We are trying to get stated with Mini/Small cattle, we also rasie full sized cattle.

In most breeds of cattle there are some bloodlines that are smaller than others. I do know in the Standard Jersey breed there are cows and bulls of different sizes. There are bloodlines from the Island of Jersey,New Zealand,Danish, and then there are the Mini Jersey bloodlines that are in the Eastern USA!


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