Miniatures and Lowlines....

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Wisteria Farms

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Our daughter is soon to be 18 and her dad proposed to her that he would give her a 5 acre tract (and one of the sheds) if she wanted to have her own "herd". (This in an effort to teach her management of time, money, animal health & reproduction, etc.) She's not new to livestock. At first she considered meat goats but since she already helps us with the cattle, she thought about miniatures or lowlines. I'll take anyone's input.
 

Toby L.

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If I was going to raise a calf to butcher in 18 months, I would rather have a lot of meat then a little. I don't understand why people want to raise miniature cattle, or smaller breeds. I drove 60 miles a couple weeks ago to look at a couple 18 month old steers that the guy said wieghed around 800 pnds. I was shocked to see they were all 4-500 pnds, and he was trying to sell them for $800 a piece, it was a waste of my afternoon. curly haired herefords.... I went and looked at a couple 3 year old angus, they were around 800 pounds, I don't understand why. Bad genetics, or improper nutrition, anyway he wanted $500 a piece so I think I may pick them up later this week if there still around.
 
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Wisteria Farms

Wisteria Farms

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Toby,
The lowline people will tell you you can raise more head per acre than the full-size breeds. AND for my daughter (who is very petite) I think she would have more confidence "working" the cattle if they are smaller...(she's not really intimidated by ours but I'm trying to have her manage her own herd.. not just the 2 that'll fit on the 5acres her dad's giving her).

Also, this question to anyone....
What do you think of raising dairy steers? I also thought about that... but it would be more of a feedlot situation...all commercial.

Mind you (because I know this is going to get brought up) what she does will be kept absolutely seperate from our herd of purebred Murrays due to issues of disease, etc.
 

LoveMoo11

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I would flip a nut (if I had any) if my Dad offered me that!! With a small space, why not go with the minis? They would be smaller, you mentioned she was considering meat goats, so that may be what she is more interested in. They would be fun and different too. What does she think?
 

CPL

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What is the going rate of lowline cattle per acre? If you could raise 1 cow on 1.5 acres does that mean lowlines would be 1 cow per 3/4 of an acre? Also have you thought about rotational/strip grazing to increase the stocking rate? If she does go with steers and I'm not sure I'd recommend dairy maybe she could find a local market for home raised beef ? IMO it looks like she has a lot of possibilities.
 
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Wisteria Farms

Wisteria Farms

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I think they say 2 lowlines per acre so the max. capacity would be 10.

We proposed the dairy idea to her and she said "no..I want to breed them and have my own calves"... which is nice because it brings it all full circle. The goats were just a thought... we had read an article about Boar goats but she realized she doesn't know diddly about goats.

I'd rather her do this while going to college than working at McDonalds or somewhere... it keeps her close to home and I think learning better life-lessons. She's a hard worker and I think it would give a real sense of pride to do her own "thing"
 

Loch Valley Fold

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I would try the minis, another option in keeping with the greys are Square Meaters they are a 1/2 - 3/4 size to Murray Greys. Split the paddock into 5 & rotate the paddocks
 
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Wisteria Farms

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CPL":335enws1 said:
What is the going rate of lowline cattle per acre? If you could raise 1 cow on 1.5 acres does that mean lowlines would be 1 cow per 3/4 of an acre? Also have you thought about rotational/strip grazing to increase the stocking rate? If she does go with steers and I'm not sure I'd recommend dairy maybe she could find a local market for home raised beef ? IMO it looks like she has a lot of possibilities.
Sorry CPL... meant to answer you... yes we've strip grazed that 5 acres in the past and would do the same. She helps with hay now but we told her she'd have to do some of the actual cutting/raking/etc (not just putting it in the barn) in exchange for winter hay for her cattle. Also told her she would have to do her own tagging, banding, vac's, etc. Its funny because she has her own car but likes driving her dad's truck... I told him I wouldn't be suprised if she said she wanted to trade her car for her own farm truck.
 
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Wisteria Farms

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Loch Valley Fold":yn4sqap2 said:
I would try the minis, another option in keeping with the greys are Square Meaters they are a 1/2 - 3/4 size to Murray Greys. Split the paddock into 5 & rotate the paddocks
Loch, I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong but I haven't really seen Squaremeaters here in the states.... I know they were started there in Australia. I LOVE my Murray Greys and myself wouldn't consider another breed but I think something different would give her a sense of separation...like she's really doing her own thing. Ideally I think she likes the miniature black baldies or Lowlines. Her first steer was a crazy Hereford (I know, not typical for Herefords but this boy was an exception!!) so she's not crazy about the miniature Herefords.
 

Loch Valley Fold

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I think something different would give her a sense of separation...like she's really doing her own thing
I know about wanting something different ;-) it may be a good experiment if she tried her hand at breeding black baldies mini hereford bull over a couple of lowline cows. Have you given any thought as to how Dexters would work for you?
 

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I have daughters about to turn 19 and 21 who have boyfriends and will no longer go anywhere near the animals. If that is a risk with your daughter, might want a short-term plan like raising steers. Lowlines aren't cheap, but don't know if you care. Would need to be able to sell at the same inflated prices.

I have a lowline/jersey cow - crossbreds are cheaper - can then breed up (or down) by AI. Speaking of AI, I assume for a few cows you wouldn't have a bull - AI best - could use the best bulls like Doc Holliday.
 

brandonm_13

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Why do people want to raise miniatures? Because they can raise the same amount of meat on the same amount of land. It just comes in smaller packages. Now if you had to buy into expensive miniatures(which most are), you would either have to sell registered stock, or take your hits the first few seasons by selling at lower prices.

There are a few breeds that are smaller that aren't as expensive as lowlines or min. herefords. Dexters are cheaper in some parts of the country. Red poll are also a little smaller, docile, and polled, making them a safer breed. Plus they can be crossbred to most breeds without birthing problems.

The idea to raise steers seems like a good one to me. Purchasing smaller calves means less danger than some larger cows. Don't get horned cattle if that is a concern. You don't have to worry about breeding time or calving time, and they work well with strip grazing.
 

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My first question would be what is her ultimate goal? Does she want to raise cattle to sell as beef? Does she want to raise some small cute novelty animals? Does she want to say she owns 10 head instead of 4 or 5? Does she want to make money with this adventure? Where and how is she going to sell her cattle?

Every breed has a purpose so I am told. Without knowing the answers to the above questions it would be very hard to make a recommendation as to what she should purchase.
 
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Wisteria Farms

Wisteria Farms

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Jovid":1hd1t22q said:
My first question would be what is her ultimate goal? Does she want to raise cattle to sell as beef? Does she want to raise some small cute novelty animals? Does she want to say she owns 10 head instead of 4 or 5? Does she want to make money with this adventure? Where and how is she going to sell her cattle?

Every breed has a purpose so I am told. Without knowing the answers to the above questions it would be very hard to make a recommendation as to what she should purchase.

Jovid... she's a teenager...she doesn't have an ultimate goal. She doesn't care about saying she owns 10 head instead of 5... that is mine and her dad's idea...as it would give her a greater concentration of experience. Do you get more experience owning 5 head or 10? See what I mean?

Of course she wants to make money with this adventure but if she breaks even (or even loses a little) I won't cry as it is the experience of having her own (small) business that we're after. She's going to have to LEARN what changes she has to make in order to turn a profit. Where and how she sells depends on what she decides she wants. If she went the route of the steers then she would sell at auction for beef. However, it appears she's wanting the lowlines (or miniatures).
 

Jovid

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Wisteria Farms":1vflz8nk said:
Jovid":1vflz8nk said:
My first question would be what is her ultimate goal? Does she want to raise cattle to sell as beef? Does she want to raise some small cute novelty animals? Does she want to say she owns 10 head instead of 4 or 5? Does she want to make money with this adventure? Where and how is she going to sell her cattle?

Every breed has a purpose so I am told. Without knowing the answers to the above questions it would be very hard to make a recommendation as to what she should purchase.

Jovid... she's a teenager...she doesn't have an ultimate goal. She doesn't care about saying she owns 10 head instead of 5... that is mine and her dad's idea...as it would give her a greater concentration of experience. Do you get more experience owning 5 head or 10? See what I mean?

Of course she wants to make money with this adventure but if she breaks even (or even loses a little) I won't cry as it is the experience of having her own (small) business that we're after. She's going to have to LEARN what changes she has to make in order to turn a profit. Where and how she sells depends on what she decides she wants. If she went the route of the steers then she would sell at auction for beef. However, it appears she's wanting the lowlines (or miniatures).

So then I guess it comes down to is there a market to sell Lowlines where you live? If so then I would go with the Lowlines.
 
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Wisteria Farms

Wisteria Farms

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Jovid":1t14kh4r said:
Wisteria Farms":1t14kh4r said:
Jovid":1t14kh4r said:
My first question would be what is her ultimate goal? Does she want to raise cattle to sell as beef? Does she want to raise some small cute novelty animals? Does she want to say she owns 10 head instead of 4 or 5? Does she want to make money with this adventure? Where and how is she going to sell her cattle?

Every breed has a purpose so I am told. Without knowing the answers to the above questions it would be very hard to make a recommendation as to what she should purchase.

Jovid... she's a teenager...she doesn't have an ultimate goal. She doesn't care about saying she owns 10 head instead of 5... that is mine and her dad's idea...as it would give her a greater concentration of experience. Do you get more experience owning 5 head or 10? See what I mean?

Of course she wants to make money with this adventure but if she breaks even (or even loses a little) I won't cry as it is the experience of having her own (small) business that we're after. She's going to have to LEARN what changes she has to make in order to turn a profit. Where and how she sells depends on what she decides she wants. If she went the route of the steers then she would sell at auction for beef. However, it appears she's wanting the lowlines (or miniatures).

So then I guess it comes down to is there a market to sell Lowlines where you live? If so then I would go with the Lowlines.

I have no idea... kind of why I did this post... wanting to get input from people who have them...Thanks for your suggestions...we've got lots more to look at before we jump in.
 
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Keren":if1an442 said:
I kinda like the idea of breeding mini black baldies, either a bunch of mini herefords and a lowline bull, or vice versa.
Keren,
Daughter said the same thing... I think the cheapest route would be the lowline bull x mini hereford cows (like you said). Then you're not investing (hopefully) quite so much. Tommy Ruyle (on these boards) has mini herefords (I think) and he just lives around the corner from us...I'll have to get with him and talk to him.
 

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I wonder if there would be a market for mini black baldies as show steers ... for younger or less confident kids? just thinking aloud here ... from what I have seen of the mini Hfords they carry a helluva lot more muscle than the lowlines
 
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Wisteria Farms

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Keren":1i03xbkp said:
I wonder if there would be a market for mini black baldies as show steers ... for younger or less confident kids? just thinking aloud here ... from what I have seen of the mini Hfords they carry a helluva lot more muscle than the lowlines
Hey! Keep thinking aloud! I think that's a great idea. My middle daughter won't have a thing to do with the cattle (because of their size) so I can really see the possability... maybe she'd take on showing one of her sister's steers...but what class would they be in? AOB?
 
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