Mini Hereford?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by dezeeuwgoats, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I've pondered this awhile, then realized I should just ask you good folks! We bought a hereford steer about six months ago for beef. Once he arrived I noticed that he was VERY short. I've seen what I think is called a 'bulldog' calf - with a severely dished face and our steer does not look like that. He is about bellybutton level, or an inch higher - and I'm 5'7". His legs are extremely short.

    I can post a picture if you need one. He looks like a hereford with really short legs. My question - is my hereford supposed to be this short? I'm wondering if he's really going to get any bigger, or if I should just bring him in now. He weighed 650lbs when I bought him, and he's probably 750 now. He's put on muscle, but no height. I've seen full grown hereford cows and bulls and they TOWERED over this guy - He looks straight into the second slat on the wooden fence, and peeks UNDER it to see out! I can't imagine him reaching 1,000lbs on those short, stumpy legs. His head seems normal size - so he looks a bit, well, funny.

    Niki
     
  2. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    Could you post a pic? Something like this was mentioned in another post (dexter jersey crosses?) and I'm really curious about it...
     

  3. Sprout

    Sprout Well-Known Member

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    No they're not supposed to be that short not even when they are six months old. Our angus calves (which is a smaller breed) reach belly button height at about 2 months. Sounds like you got a dwarf. Odd face and everything you can still eat him he just won't be as big as you wanted. I would avoid the place you got him from when looking for beef cattle next year.
     
  4. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I'll try and get a picture of him on here tomorrow.....I'll see what I can put in there with him for 'scale' so you can tell.

    He's got horns - they are about eight inches long - maybe a bit longer. Does anyone know how long it takes herefords horns to grow? I'm wondering if he isn't older than we suspected (going by size, lol). Also, his hooves seem to be getting long in the toes - which surprises me. All these things make me think he's older than the eight months we were told.

    Sprout - his face isn't odd - I have seen the odd dished faces. His is normal looking, just his head seems normal size while his legs are short. So, should I just grain him for a month and send him in then? He is putting on weight. The people we bought him from don't really know anything about cows either. They bought the calves at auction. I picked him because he was so stout and beefy looking. Now I think it was due to how short he was, lol. Nope, I picked him out of about five steers - so I can't blame it on anyone else but me. Hopefully he isn't so old as to be tough.

    Niki
     
  5. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    One of them thar Herefords of The Hobbit. :)
     
  6. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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  7. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    Up North - LOL, I think ye be right!

    I'm off to take a photograph....

    Niki
     
  8. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    Well, here he is - I reduced by 50% since my last photo was humongous. Hope it worked.


    [​IMG]
     
  9. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    That's my six year old son, Harry, in the foreground. Not the best photograph - I was worried about scale ahead of time. Let me see if any of the others show things any better......My camera battery died after three shots. The only thing well shot in this photograph is the point I was trying to make about him not being able to see over the second rail!
    niki
     
  10. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I know he's laying down, but I thought the dog and kid in the photo would help....if not I'll just have to wait until this evening when dh brings home more batteries.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How old is he? Older than 6 months?

    My MIL had a Charolais heifer that never grew until about 8-10 months old. She was sure she was a dwarf or something genetically wrong with her. Even thought about breeding her for smaller beef (this was before all of the mini's). She was really short & stocky.

    Then she sorta shot up!! I think she was 750 lbs at 14-16 months (I seem to remember that was hanging weight).
     
  12. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I was told that he was six months when bought, and they'd had him a few months. :shrug: These were horse people though, not 'cow' people. This is why I mentioned that his feet are starting to get long, and his horn length....I'm starting to think he may be over a year old.

    niki
     
  13. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I guess my whole point to this is: should I continue to put feed into him, or cut my losses and have him butchered now? I don't want to put a lot of feed into him if it really isn't going to make much difference. I'd rather put him in the freezer and start another calf while I still have extra milk. The milk supply will dry up in the fall.

    Niki
     
  14. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    I would like someday get a mini Jersey and make a pet out of him~!
     
  15. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ok, that would make him about 14 months old?

    He does seem really small if he is that age. Maybe wasn't fed right when he was growing? :shrug:

    If that's the case, I guess I would finish him out & start with a new calf, while you have the milk supply.

    Good luck!
     
  16. christy

    christy Well-Known Member

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    Well the same thing happened to me! And with a hereford. My jersey had her calf and was producing lots of milk. Vet told me to get a bottle calf to help out. Purchased the little guy week or less old at the sale. Brought home feed him and got him perked up and been feeding him since. Has not grown hardly at all. Yours looks huge compared to mine. Mine are around 5 months old. My jersey heifer has passed my hereford by far. T-bone has put on weight and muscle. Guess he wont be much of a T-bone.

    Christy
     
  17. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    Mamahen I'm guessing he's probably older than that by his horns, feet, and just the look of him. He's been on alfalfa for the past six months. It's just plain strange, I tell ya. How would you suggest 'finishing him out'? I don't want to make him too fat - anyone know how much I should feed a little ol' thing like him? He's getting a bunch of alfalfa hay, and I started giving him a large coffee can full of rolled barley once a day. How long should I do this before bringing him in?

    Niki
     
  18. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I can tell you the way my in-laws do it. Of course everyone has there own preference!!

    They give them all the hay (just plain hay, not alfalfa) they can eat. We use that kind of hay, because it's the only kind the farmers make in the area.

    A coffee can (isn't that strange that everyone uses that to measure?!) can of dairy feed sweet feed in the morning & one in the evening. Why dairy? The feed store only carries dairy. :rolleyes: Plus a little corn (maybe 2-3 cups?) thrown in with it.

    And keep them in a small padock for 30 days (so they aren't running & playing all over the place). The padock is probably 50 X 50. Keeps their flesh on & doesn't let them get too much exercise to get tough.

    This works well for us. I wish you luck!! Your steer is a cute little guy! Hope he tastes good!
     
  19. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    can you not check his teeth to see if he has gotten his first year set in or more? or does this not work with cattle? i know it does with goats sheep and horses
     
  20. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    Uummmm. I don't really think he'd allow me to check his teeth. Maybe the butcher can check them, when all is said and done? I am curious about his age. This guy isn't tame - he just started sniffing my outstretched hand this week - and we've had him quite awhile. Not to mention his horns?? Those scare me. I've never had a big (okay, he's not big - but he is gut level!) cow with horns before.

    If I did check - I wouldn't know what I'd be looking for, other than tartar build up! Sorry, KSALguy, I couldn't resist!

    niki