Miniature-cow numbers are growing rapidly due to more homestead and hobby farms , though they remain a miniscule percentage of the total cattle here in the U.S. They breeds are utilized in pastoral areas of the developing world and in the past they were favored by small peasant farmers in Britain.
Below are photos and brief descriptions of ten breeds of mini-cattle.
Miniature Belted Galloway
photo : leiperscreekvalleyfarm.com
The Galloway cattle originiated in Scotland as an extremely hardy breed with a great temperament. Galloway are the oldest polled breed of cattle in the world and come in several colors with a white belt, black hair being the most common. Their unique double layer of hair gives them more climate flexibility. Galloway are non-selective grazers and can be run with sheep. Cows are good milk producers and good mothers .
Further information visit : Mini-Beltie.org.
Dexter Mini Cow
Photo : wikipedia
The Dexter breed originated in Ireland. They are about half the size of a traditional Hereford. Mature cows weigh 610–700 pounds (275–320 kg) and mature bulls weigh 1,000 pounds (450 kg). They may be of several solid colors, black hair being the most common, with horns. They make excellent milk cows, producing 2 to 2.5 gallons (7.6 to 9.5 liters) per day, but they are also excellent meat producers. The third common use of them is as oxen.
photo : flickr
Miniature Herefords have been created by selecting the smallest livestock or “breeding down,” for breeding purposes. They consume about 1/2 that of full-sized cows and produce 50-75% of the meat. Miniature Herefords weigh 500-700 pounds. There are over 300 miniature-Hereford breeders in the U.S., compared to only 24 in the year 2000.
Miniature Texas Longhorns have been bred-down from standard-sized longhorns to approximately 1/3 the size. Texas Longhorn are very hardy in dry climates, they come in many colors, are gentle, and they are good lean beef producers.
Miniature Holstein Cow
photo : http://www.cumberlandminiatures.com/
These are miniature milk cows and may produce 2-3 gallons of milk per day. The milk has the same quality as from the full-size Holstein cow. Holstein mini-milk cows are perfect for families who prefer cows milk to goats milk and who prefer to drink organic milk. The white and black Holstein originated in the Netherlands, as an excellent grass-raised dairy animal.