Yes, miniature cows are a real breed and yes, they really are this adorable.
If you don't have enough room on your land for a herd of big cows, consider getting minis for smaller acreage. These lovable little ones still produce milk like standard size cows but need less space and don't do as much damage to your land as normal-sized cattle might. And, let's not forget the cuteness factor!
Miniature cattle are cute additions to your hobby farms or ranches. And the best part is, they have all the best cow attributes -- just in a miniature version. These small-breed bull cows generally stand at 36 to 42 inches at the hip, which means they are about half the size of a full-size cow. When you raise them well, they'll make great pets and can be an ideal homesteading venture for a small family. The problem is, these miniature breeds are not cheap. Some cows like miniature Zebu cows start at $1,000 but Highlands can go for up to $6,500 per calf. First time cattle buyers may get sticker shock if they are unprepared for the price.
Like any animal, there are a ton of unique breeds that make up the mini cow community. Here are some of our favorite miniature cattle breeds:
Miniature Cows Perfect for Your Mini Farm
1. Miniature Belted Galloway
Oreo cows (sometimes also called panda cows) come in mini versions. Seriously! Belted Galloway cows are hardy in the winter with their double shaggy coats that they shed in the summer. They were originally bred in Scotland and can do well in both warm and cold climates. Look for the characteristic white belt to pick out Belties from the crowd.
2. Dexter Mini Cow
Dexters are mini by nature. Dexter cattle were bred in Ireland and are smaller by nature due to the lack of resources in mountains where they originated. They were dubbed "The Poor Man's Cow" because they don't take much to raise, so they're ideal for homesteading. They grow to about 36-44 inches, so mini for a cow.
3. Jersey Mini-Cows
Island cows! Jersey cows come from Jersey Island in Britain. Islands don't have that much room for large, grazing herds so miniature Jersey cows were bred to be smaller for the small acreage available. Mini Jerseys don't get bigger than 42 inches at the hip. They'll make wonderful additions to your small farm!
4. Miniature Herefords
Fuzzy minis! Mini Herefords are a reasonable size and fluffy to boot! Not only are they docile and make good pets, but they'll help mow your grass, provide good fertilizer, and you can enter them into cow shows at fairs.
5. Miniature Texas Longhorn Cow
Mini hook 'em horns! Texas Longhorns are famous for their huge horns. In 1990, the smallest Longhorns were bred together and the miniature version was born. Miniature Texas Longhorns have all the same attributes as their larger counterparts but aren't as aggressive, making them great companion animals.
6. Miniature Zebu Cow
Mini India cows! Miniature zebus are noticeable by the hump behind their head and are thought to be the oldest cattle breed in the world, originating in India. These small cattle are friendly and make good companions on smaller farms. Their milk is also very high in butterfat content. Brahman cattle are a breed branching from the Zebu.
7. Mini Holsteins
It's a mini milk cow! Holsteins are best known for their milk production. Mini Holsteins can give you two to three gallons a day! And with minis you won't need as much room, they don't eat as much, keeping feed costs down, and they are gentle and easier to handle. They make for a great little family milk cow!
8. Miniature Scottish Highland Cow
Mini furballs! Scottish Highland cows are known best for their luscious locks. When they are entered into shows at fairs their handlers are even known to oil and blow-dry their hair. Miniature Highland cattle are well adapted to cold weather, they are a hardy breed, and their small size makes them great little pets who often love to cuddle.
It is up to you to do your research on quality miniature cattle breeders and farms, but the good news is that there are plenty of them here in the United States for you to choose from. Reference the International Miniature Cattle registry for more info on where to find these miniature bovines. By the time you realize, and once you win the lottery, you'll have the sweetest little mini farm! Just be sure to invite us over.
Do you have a miniature cow? Tell us on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page!
This post was originally published on October 1, 2020.
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