Mini-Cattle

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by pointer_hunter, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    I've been thinking of brining our cow home from the family farm once we get the land set up. The problem is, the pasture will only be about an acre. It will probably be planted in some type of clover (unless better ideas arise). I have more land available for hay, just not for a pasture. I know that with this small area, I will only be able to sustain my beefmaster x cow and a calf each year. I thought about trading her in for a more compact model. I see there are about 7 (?) different types of mini's out there and they all seem to be pretty costly. I realize that some will prefer one more then another, but is there any smaller framed cows out there that aren't more then a used car? I don't really think I want milkers right now...mainly interested in beef. I also want to throw a few pot-bellies and maybe a wether or two on the pasture if possible.

    Any guidance, clues, ideas, beliefs as to what types of and numbers I can run?
     
  2. kjerckie

    kjerckie Well-Known Member

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    Take a look at the Dexter cattle. A true breed, they are smaller but not bred down or mini's.
     

  3. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    I've looked at the Dexter, but again, they seem to cost more then the larger breeds. I think the cost is up there due to a "novelty" type mindset. I wouldn't mind getting a few dexters (or other small breed) if the price was there, but from what I've seen, I can get almost two larger cows for the price of one dexter. Of course....I could be wookin' in all the wong paces :eek:
     
  4. celestial_farms

    celestial_farms Member

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  5. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    Pointer,
    I'd be interested to hear what you consider expensive? Are you pricing adults? Calves? cows or bulls? If you need beef just for your family, get a couple of Dexter steers, remember cows do better with other cows as company. Let us know more of what you need. I do know that there are people in Michigan looking to buy Dexter steers as they don't have enough for their own customers-might tell you something about the meat quality ;)

    Carol K
     
  6. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

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    Pointer
    I see no advantage in a mini!!! If you want a pasture ornament buy it in concrete :) The mini craze will seperate you from your money just the same as alpacas!! The best thing about minis is you can make very expensive burger when the market for them completes its cycle. If you do not have a use for them at there inflated price stay away and buy a little extra feed for the full size if you have to.
    Mr Wanda
    Mike
     
  7. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    One acre won't support your cow and calf through the summer. If you put goats and pigs in there also it would take it all for them. You would do better to leave your beefmaster on the family farm and maybe bring the yearling calf to your place to pasture and feed some grain until you have it ready to butcher. When you leave livestock in a small pasture they will tromp out a lot of it because they loaf and kill time on the grass that should not be walked on any more than absolutely nessesary. It would make more feed if the animals have another shady lot to get their water and rest in. They like resting inside a building as it helps get away from some of the flys and mosquitoes. And I know for a fact that Michigan has mosquitoes. Plus you get all the beautiful organic fertilizer to shovel out of the barn. (Often)
     
  8. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    I would agree to leave the cow at the folks. One acre is not enough for the pair. Mini's are probably not the answer. We have a lowline ( another get rich quick scheme) We are loosing tons on her. Too fat to bred, no emberyos, just an expensive yard ornament. She is not even friendly. Since I techniqually do not own her all I can do is hope she gets struck by lightning or has a coranary( She is obese). Put some goats and sheep on the pasture. It takes like 10 goats or sheep to equal a cow and are generally easier to have around. Pigs on pasture need to rung or there will be nothing left in a very short time.
     
  9. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the info. As of right now, all I am looking for is beef. I don't want to get into milking right now. I can buy another Beefmaster x from my uncle for 700 already breed back. I just figured that was for a full size cow, a mini "in theory" would be less. The reason we were thinking of bringing our cow over is because of the feed situation. My uncle runs the farm and I drop him 20 bucks a month for labor, feed and water. I help during the summer to get the hay done plus some of the chores when I'm there. I haven't seen my 20 go for feed yet. I guess as long as they are getting something, he can do whatever he wants with the money I give him. The farm is not in that great of shape. He is working on getting it together VERY slowly! The pasture has to be worked over and reseeded, but hasn't gotten done in probably 15-20 years. The vet says that they are some of the healthiest animals in the area, so something must be working. It just seems that during the winter they are a little thinner. I had thought about keeping the cows there and instead of building up a pasture at my house, just put money and time toward getting his pasture done. It just seems odd putting money into someone else's property.

    Anyway, it's all just up in my head right now...I'm just trying to see what the best route to take is. Keep the comments comming, that's why I visit this site...(visit...almost feels like I live on this site sometimes!)
     
  10. blackcadilac

    blackcadilac Guest

    Hi I'm in Australia in one of the coldest parts of Queensland and I breed Dexters. I have had beef and still do, but I found that the Dexter is easier on my paddocks than the beef and the bone out and meat quality is great. My cows and my bull for that matter are that quiet I can walk in with them and not worry but as with all breeds there are those that no one wants to know and really shouldn't, I have had 2 full size dexter cows and 3 young heifers running on 4 acres and all they got was the occasional buckets of oaten chaff if the paddock looked alittle light on and I have a Pire Bred for sale at $1300 oz of course and I wouldn't touch Lowlines as they are genetically engineered from Dexters and Angus they are not a naturally bred animal at least the ones here are as I have read a pamphlet put out by Don Burke who is the person who had a hand in starting them. It is as always up to the individual and I will always praise my little cows. To each his own choice. Black Cadilac.
     
  11. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Don't judge a farm by the size of the junk pile! Your uncles farm may not look great, but if they vet says he's doing it right, he probably is!

    Most cows go downhill in the winter to a point. There's a fine line between keeping them fat and sassy and making any profit! That does not mean they must look skeletal, but losing a bit of condition over winter is par for the course.

    Has your cow been wormed? A wormy cow going through the winter will lose much more condition, plus why pay to feed WORMS?

    One acre might support one pair in my area, but the pasture would get worn out in a year or two. Proper rotational grazing can do wonders for an old pasture...for free.

    Jena
     
  12. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Pointer - You have a gold mine if Unk feeds and cares for your cow all year for $20 a month. If he wants some more at that rate please let me know. How big is the calf when you take over on feeding it?
     
  13. shelbynteg

    shelbynteg Well-Known Member

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    Your county extension agent can give you information on stocking rates in your area for improved and unimproved pasture, start there, then work on selecting your breed.

    For my part, I'm going with mini's because they can share some of the working equipment I already have for the goats. Full size cattle require full size chutes.

    Good Luck.
     
  14. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    We just wormed the cows today. On the way to TSC to get the wormer, Uncle told me that he got the farm from Grandma with the thought of keeping it in the family name. His son was killed this year and I'm the only one interested in farming, so he asked me if I would take over the farm when he's gone. I talked to DW and we agreed now instead of working up an acre with fence and seed and such, that it will be better off just putting time and money into the farm. If it doesn't work out in the years to come...I'll at least get good use of it while it lasts!

    Now we are going to start looking for a new herd bull as he just sold both of his this past week.
     
  15. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I'm a little late on this, but I have seen registered dexter cows for sale around here for $500. I purchased my very nice bull, with outstanding bloodlines, at 18 months old for $500, delivered. (You can see him on my website.) So reasonably priced Dexters really are out there.