Miniature cattle are easier to get to market  :)
Miniature Cattle
The perfect animal for small acreage farms. As the size of farms continues to get smaller, miniature cattle
gain in popularity.  Today the two acre, five acre, or ten acre family homestead farm is becoming more
common. The smaller cattle breeds are particularly well suited for these small acreage farms for several
reasons. They require one-third the feed of standard size animals, and because of their small size miniature
cattle can be handled easily and efficiently without the need for special equipment or special fencing.  
They are efficient feed converters.  They can be as small as 36” at maturity.  They are easy on the land
and pasture.  Pastures seem to stay greener longer because these miniature cattle weigh less and their
hooves are smaller. Equipment maintenance is rare, and you don't need the heavy duty equipment.
It's much easier to maintain a small herd as opposed to a solitary animal. Some folks with small acreage
farms purchase one large animal to raise their own beef. Cattle are herd animals. You need more than one.
A solitary animal just does not do as well as two or three together. With the small breeds it is possible to
put two or three animals in the same area that you might put just one large animal. This is much better for
the animals.
Here are some questions and answers about miniature cattle:
How many miniature cows can be raised per acre?
On an average five acres of land, you should be able to raise approximately two large animals.  But on
those same 5 acres you can raise about 10 miniature breeds.  Of course this will vary with the type
of pasture you have.
How much weight will a miniature cow gain?
A miniature cow will be between 500 & 900 pounds at 13 to 15 months old.  This varies by the breed. At 18
to 24 months of age they can reach 1200 to 1500 pounds if they are a larger breed.
How much feed is required for a miniature cow?
A typical amount of feed is approximately 1/3 the amount needed for full size cattle.
Do miniature cattle make good pets?
Did you know that miniature cattle will come when called?  Did you know that they love to be brushed
with a currycomb?
How much does a gallon of milk weigh?
A gallon of whole milk weighs 8.6 pounds.  The weight will vary slightly by the fat content.
How do you tame a cow?
Here is some cow taming advice that I found on a web forum. I wish I could remember who wrote it
and give them the credit!
1.      Always wear the same clothes when you are with your cows.
2.      Keep the cows in a small enclosure for a while.
3.      Stand outside the gate until they are used to you being there.
4.      Slowly, over a long period of time, inch your way into the pen.
5.      Don’t do anything, don’t even look at them. They need to know you are not going to hurt them.
6.      Sit in a chair in the pen and read aloud.
7.      When a cow chews its cud in front of you, they're comfortable.
8.      Sweet feed does wonders, again work slowly. When they'll eat out of a shallow bucket held by you,
they are ready for the next step.
9.      This is the BIG one—Get apple/oat horse treats, made by Nutri-choice.  The cows love them. They
are a "cookie" so you can reach it out to them at first or toss it.  In about two weeks the cows will gather
round for more.  Try petting them a little at a time until they are comfortable.
What do all those terms mean?
Full blood - 100% Foundation parentage pure animal
Percentage blood - The amount of Full blooded Foundation parentage -First cross 1/2, second cross
3/4, third 7/8
Pure blood - When the amount of Full blooded parentage in a cross bred animal passes 7/8% they
are designated Pure in the Percentage registration with "p" on their papers and stays in Percentage
registry, but can not regain Full blood status.
Naturally polled - Genetic absence of the horned trait
Lowline Cattle - Registered Miniature Angus cattle selectively developed over a 30+ year program
by the Trangie Research Center in NSW Australia.
Achondroplasia Gene (Dwarfism) - An identifiable gene in the DNA structure that causes
disproportionate features, unbalanced or unequal features. (Short legs)
Inbreeding - Two closely related individuals are mated together and the resulting offspring carries
more than 50% of any common ancestor in its pedigree. i.e. father to daughter, mother to son.
Line breeding - Two related individuals are mated together and the resulting offspring carries less
than 50% of any common ancestor in its pedigree.
Natural Beef - Beef produced under natural conditions, with NO injected hormone stimulants, and
fed with natural feeds, grass, hay or grains.
How many breeds of miniature cattle are there?
There are currently 26 breed categories of miniature cattle recognized by the International Miniature
Cattle Breeders Society and Registry.   These unique cattle breeds are all 42" or less at maturity to be
classified as full miniature, over 42" up to 48" are classified as midsize miniature.
Here is a list of the breeds and information on some.  More information will be added as
acquired.  If you know of a breeder that would like to link their site send us an email.

American BeltieTM("Mini-Cookie") Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
AuburnshireTM Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Australian Kyrhet Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Miniature Angus, American and Australian Lowline Society and Registry
Lowlines are direct descendents of the Angus Bloodlines, developed in an Agricultural research
station in New South Wales, Australia from registered Aberdeen seed stock.  Like Angus,
Lowlines are black and naturally polled.  Lowlines are exceptional beef cattle, they thrive on
limited feed, lowering production costs and producing half size cuts of lean, flavorful, high quality
beef.  Lowlines can winter on 40% of the feed of other breeds.  Lowlines are miniature cattle, a
bull stands anywhere from 38 -45 inches at the shoulder and can weigh 800 -1100 pounds.  A
mature cow can be 35 - 41 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 500 - 700 pounds. All
Lowlines share a diminutive size, as a result of the Trangie research experiment.
BarbeeTM Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
BelmontTM(Irish Jersey) Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Relatively new as breeds of animals go, Miniature Belmont cattle are quite rare. Belmont cattle
were developed as the first true dual purpose animal. They give large amounts of rich creamy
milk and provide the deep freeze with an ample supply of tasty, tender beef for today's smaller
family. They are very hardy, easy keepers and have a real people personality. Great with small
kids or the older generation!  Belmont cattle will have horns unless bred to a polled animal.  
Cows at three years of age and over should not exceed 700 pounds live weight.  Bulls at three
years of age and over should not exceed 900 pounds live weight.  Animals must be 42" or under
at maturity (three years) to be classified as miniature, or over 42" up to 48" at maturity to be
classified as Mid Size.  Since the "Belmont" Irish Jersey bred consists of half Jersey and half
Dexter there is a 25% chance of the Achrondoplasia (bulldog gene) appearing in offspring.
Belted BelmontTM Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Black BaldieTM Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
BurienshireTM Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
CovingtonshireTM Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Dexter Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Dexters are not classified as a miniature breed even though their sizes can classify them as such.
Dexters are a true breed not "genetically hand made". They are a heritage breed, meaning they
were in use and the first registry was started in 1879. The first ones came to America prior to
1900 but were not recorded. The first animals to be in the U.S. and recorded in the registry
were imported from Ireland and England between 1905 and 1910.
Durham/Shorthorn Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Four Breed Grad-WohlTM Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Five Breed Grad-WohlTM Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Happy Mountain® Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Hereford Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Miniature Herefords were developed at Point of Rocks Ranch of Fort Davis, Texas in 1969.  
Herefords are early maturing cattle.  The miniature Herefords are hardy animals that can adapt
to various climates, including extreme cold, high humidity, the heat of the south and dry deserts.  
Miniature Herefords are an animal for the backyard beef industry, as well as being the perfect
size for a small family. They may be considered pets, enjoyed as a hobby, treated as a
secondary source of income, or employed as a full-time business. They are used to classify small
acreage for agricultural exemption status.
Highland Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Lessor JerseyTM(Jersey) Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Lessor Jersey Cattle was imported from the Isle over 100 years ago to Dobson, N.C.  They
mature early.  Aproximately 90% of all Lessor Jerseys are naturally polled, smart and docile.  
The colors range from shades of light fawn to very dark brown (almost black), some with white
spots on the lighter ones.  They give about 20 – 35 lbs of milk daily.  The breed can live as long
as 15 – 20 years. Lessor Jerseys will range from 38 – 42 inches at maturity.  The cows weigh
about 600 – 700 lbs.  The bulls weigh about 800 – 900 lbs.  An average birth weight for a calf
is 20 – 30 lbs with a height of 20 – 28 inches.  Also known as Guinea Jersey, Rabbit-eyed
Jersey, Barnyard Jersey and Island Jersey.  Lessor Jerseys are very rare with approximate 300
in existence at this time.
Belted Lessor JerseyTM Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Kentshire® Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Red Kentshire® Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
KingshireTM Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Panda ® Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Zebu Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Texas Longhorn Miniature Cattle Society and Registry
Open Breeds
This information is provided as a starting point for your research into miniature cattle.  We will update this page as
more information is gathered.  If you would like to see a particular topic addressed, feel free to send us an email.
UPDATE: Bellfair miniature cattle are the first dual purpose miniature breed of cattle
developed in America. Bellfair cattle are 50% Jersey, from high test Jersey cows bred to a
small (35") Dexter bull, developed for the small acreage farmer who wants a small family
milk cow which will also produce a good beef calf for the locker. The overall appearance is
that of a small Jersey.
Cattle Today
Magazine
These two books have been highly recommended by other
homesteaders:
Keeping A Family Cow
The Family Cow
miniature cattle
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Miniature Cattle