Mini cattle

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Caelma, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    I am so intriged with the concept of mini cattle and
    was wondering if anyone here had any?
    How did they originated ? What was crossed to get them mini?
    Any info, ideas, opinions and web site referals are much appreciated.
     
  2. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    We have Dexters which are a small breed, as opposed to a miniaturized breed of normal cattle.

    Dexters are just naturally a smaller breed, mini breeds are obtained by breeding the smallest of a normal breed together to strengthen the genes that make them smaller. Mini herfords are one example I have seen, mini zebu another.
     

  3. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

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    I don't know, but we had a calf that we bought from hte auction that did not grow ANY in the year we had her, and she did NOT start to even look like an adult, she ALWAYS looked like a calf. We sold her though, we thought that something was wrong with her, and there probly was.
     
  4. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In some cases, like with mini Jerseys, the claim is that they are the original sized animals and were not bred-up for production. In some cases they are bred down with dexters to decrease size.

    http://www.miniaturejerseys.com/
    ^Largest herd of registered miniature Jerseys in the States. About two hours south of us.
     
  5. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    There is a whole developing industry of mini cattle. Since they are new and a niche market you'll be paying a lot for them. THe mini Hereford is not a new mini breed, it is an old breed with records going back to the early 19th century and were first imported to the US in the 1840's.
     
  6. Mama C

    Mama C Well-Known Member

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  7. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    Perfesser Gradwohl's rep. is somewhat in question from some things I've read on the Dexter boards.
     
  8. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to use a Dexter to try and "bring down" size, please try and make sure you use one that is chondrodysplasia free, there is no sense in spreading a lethal gene and starting your herd of mini's the wrong way. The first breeding won't affect your calf, but subsequent inbreeding could produce bulldog calves from what I understand.

    Carol K
     
  9. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    What Paula said. There are a number of true breeds of miniature cattle that have been around for a while, breed true, have solid production traits, and have a real registry.

    Mr. Gradwohl's "breeds" were "developed" by him and can only be registered through his registry. You can use the exact same documented cross, mostly using Dexters to bring down the size, but you can't register the animals unless you've used his "foundation stock." I had occasion to speak with him while unsuccessfully chasing down the registration on my Dexter cow, and he was quite free in telling me all about how Dexters have that awful dwarfing gene and his miniatures are much better. If you inquire, you'll find that his cattle are better to the tune of several thousand dollars apiece. I could go on and on, but I'll pipe down now. It's just that I've known some of his victims, so I get a little het up.

    And remember, it's not slander if it's true.
     
  10. Ranchermom

    Ranchermom Sam at the Pecan Ranch

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    I have been hearing recently from people that have minatures this is not counting dexters (I understand they are just a small breed not minatures)
    that they are harder to milk cause they are so small you have to put them on a platform so you wont be bending so much and sometimes even then its hard to milk cause there is no room for the pail.

    Does anyone that have minatures that milk have this problem? I have heard this from two people that had them I guess if you milk by machine that wouldnt be a problem. I would like to hear others input that have them. Oh and I am not putting the minatures down I think they are so cute :) I am just curious on the milking procedures.

    Sam
     
  11. RdoubleD

    RdoubleD Active Member

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    You are on to something. I have a Dexter not even a small one she is 45 inches tall and I have a problem with milking her. I sit on a one gallon bucket to milk her and have to crane my neck side ways against her flank and sorda hunch down with my legs streight forward or one leg just in front of the bucket and the other just behind her back legs. I use a one gallon bucket to squirt milk into. If I use anything taller I have a hard time getting my hands into the bucket to milk her. She does have a large udder with okay rear attachement although I have seen worse rear attachement on bigger animals and of course you do not have the same problems because they are taller. She does not have huge teets they are a little on the small size.

    I have often wondered how people could milk any of the miniture breeds without having them stand on some sort of a elivated stand.
     
  12. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, Dexter cattle can be hard to find. I just sold the last that I had available until the next calf crop is weaned.

    Try going to http://www.dextercattle.org/ or http://www.purebreddextercattle.org/ and searching through the member lists for breeders near you.

    Dexters come in the long legged and short legged varieties. The long legged will be easier to milk. I know a lady that has a platform for the cow to stand on while she milks. I think it's a goat platform, but it's big enough for a Dexter.

    Even a Holstein can have teats that are so low you can't put a bucket under them. They're mostly milked by machine. Go to http://www.dakodan.net/dexters/forum/viewforum.php?f=13 for a host of topics about milking Dexters.

    A miniature is a breed that has been bred down from a standard size. Dexters have always been small, so they're not called a miniature, even though they are smaller than some minis.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
     
  13. Sinenian

    Sinenian Well-Known Member

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    Every once in awhile, we buy minature herfords, real fun to take care of. If you buy as calves and handle often it is my experience they are real easy to handle even full grown.
     
  14. RdoubleD

    RdoubleD Active Member

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    Ranchermom,

    Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this thread. A milk machine would be fine but I think that I would spend more time cleaning it then just milking the cow. It takes me about 30 min. to prep and milk and 15 to strain and clean the pales. I think cleaning all the hoses would take more time.
     
  15. Petsguy

    Petsguy Well-Known Member

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    I looked at some Dexters this weekend. Beautiful cattle, thanks Sherry for allowing Kelly and I to visit your herd. They are very friendly too. They came right up to us, even the bull. He licked my shoe. I will likely be getting some in the future. The size is perfect for my needs. Sherry has two heifers and a steer available for anyone looking.

    Jeff Port
    Smallville Miniatures and Exotics
    Peoria, IL
     
  16. MaryF

    MaryF Well-Known Member

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    So are the other minis (aside from the Dexters) just bred down? I keep hearing that the mini jersey always was that small, just bred UP for production?
    Mary
     
  17. Petsguy

    Petsguy Well-Known Member

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    As far as other minis, I have looked at Zebu, which I like and mini Jerseys, which are too much for me to afford. I like the look of the mini Jerseys but they are twice as much as the dexters I have looked at and 3 times the price of the Zebus. I haven't seen any lowline Angus other than in pictures so I can't comment on those. I know someone who bred a zebu bull to 2 Watusi Heifers and produced a couple of bull calves. I was supposed to get one of them, but I lost his number and never did hook up with him again. I think location somewhat dictates the price on some of these guys too. Just my 2 cents.

    Take Care,
    Jeff Port
    Smallville Miniatures and Exotics
    Peoria, IL
    309/678-3457
     
  18. Philip

    Philip Philip

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    It depends whether you want mini's or smaller breeds. If the latter, a cheap option is to buy Jersey cows and AI them with Lowline semen. We've gone down that track and are very pleased with the results. It has the advantage of cost (AI semen is cheap, purebreed Lowline are very pricey) but you have to be prepared to wait a few years to achive a consistent smaller size - and even though the end product will look like a Lowline, it can't be registered as a purebreed