Miniature Cattle Breeds?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by onecowenuf, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. onecowenuf

    onecowenuf Member

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    Has anyone dealt with the International Miniature Cattle Breeds Registry?
    I happened upon their website ( http://www.minicattle.com/ )

    There are lots of cute pictures of tiny cattle but how the heck can they justify calling them "breeds"? And then trademarking everything, I've never seen so many little circle "R"s in my life. And $28 for an info packet?

    The whole "Professor Emeritus" thing set my alarm bells ringing too. Proffessor of what? It never actually says.

    And how can one bull be the founding bull for two different Breeds?

    To me it looks like he had some mini cattle. Probably a Dexter and some Mini Herefords, a Belted Galloway, and maybe a mini Jersey. Then he's just been crossing them up to get different colors and naming each new calf a new "breed"

    Has anyone dealt with him? What are the point of these cows. I notice almost no mention of milking ability, feed conversion, saleablility, etc. Just a lot of cute pictures. It totally looks like somebody trying to jumpstart the next emu/llama craze.
     
  2. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't touch those animals with a stick- they have created alleged miniatures of breeds that were never small. I think you are right- they just mixed and matched a few breeds to come up with some coat colors and plastered names on them. I used to see ad's for the Panda cattle in Countryside- they wanted $28000 for one! I think they are angling to get rich people who have land and want something fancy. I shudder to think of the inbreeding going on.
     

  3. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think you've hit the nail on the head! It takes many generations and a lot of hard work to fix the characteristics of a new breed.

    I heard that the professorship is in marketing.

    Nowadays, you can trademark almost anything. The name Belfair was trademarked, I think. It referred to the calf of a cross between a Dexter bull and a Jersey cow. Anyone else is also free to cross their Dexter bull with a Jersey cow, but they can't call the calf a Belfair. They have to call it what it is, a Dexter/Jersey cross, or make up a different name to call it. They can trademark their name, too.

    Disgusting, isn't it?

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
     
  4. onecowenuf

    onecowenuf Member

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    OK, I was wrong it does say what he's a Proffessor of (sort of) here's the text from the site.


    Professor Gradwohl is an entrepreneur, educator, financial advisor, and miniature cattle breeder and owner. He holds several degrees including two masters' degrees, a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters of Science. He also holds the esteem title of "Full Professorship" which is significantly more prestigious than a PH-D. He has authored and published many management articles for various industries. His style of writing is down to earth and easy to understand. He and his wife Arlene have together started, owned and operated a total of sixteen successful businesses. Having been a college professor for 27 years he is now Professor Emeritus. His areas of teaching expertise are as a Professor of Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Salesmanship and Personal Finance. He retired five years ago and has since devoted full time to the raising, breeding and development of new breeds of miniature cattle.

    Some thirty-five years ago Professor Gradwohl started raising and breeding cattle in the Seattle, Washington USA area. As Seattle grew the taxes on his farm began going higher and higher. The farm was in the path of developments. It got to the point the farm did not justify the taxes. As he sold off parcels of land he became more interested in the application of smaller breeds of cattle to small farms, which his now was. Twenty years ago he started with Miniature Dexter cattle, Miniature Hereford cattle and Miniature Angus. He also became quite interested in Miniature and Mid Size Highland cattle and smaller Belted Galloway and Dutch Belt animals. From this base he has developed a total of eight completely new breeds of miniature cattle including the Kentshire®, KingshireTM, CovingtonshireTM, Happy Mountain®, Mini Cookie, Grad-WohlTM, BarbeeTM, and PandaTM Miniature Cattle. His background as a Professor of Marketing and researcher has served the miniature cattle industry well.

    In 1989 Professor Gradwohl founded the International Miniature Cattle Breeders Society and Registry. The Society now registers a total of twenty-one breeds of miniature cattle worldwide. Breeding and nutritional research is conducted at the Miniature Cattle Research Facility at Happy Mountain® Miniature Cattle Farm in Covington, Washington USA. A year long research project has just been completed showing the advantages of miniature cattle in an organic beef program. Together with his wife Arlene he owns and operates Happy Mountain® Miniature Cattle Farm and the Research Facility.


    Gee, can you vague that up for us a little more Proffessor?
     
  5. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    Funny they seem to forget to mention what college or university he taught at. I've never heard of a "full professor" title being more highly esteemed then a PhD. In my college top of the heap is a Professor, then Assitant Professor, and then Associate Professor. And you had to have a PhD to be one.
     
  6. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Well, it says right there in black and white that he has a Masters in Business Administration and one in Science. Note: I'm not sure I've ever heard of a Masters in Science - usually, there's some specific field of science in which the Masters Degree is earned. Hmmmm.

    Anyway, he was a professor (where? Must have been Seattle/Tacoma area since he was raising cattle in Seattle for 35 years.) with expertise in marketing, salesmanship, entrepeneurship and personal finance. And the guy likes dealing with cattle. What better choice for a career salesperson than to set up a deal where, with proper marketing, he can get ten times the going rate, or more, for his cattle? It's an exclusive deal too, and if you try to outcross, even going to an animal of the same parent breed, you're out of the game unless Dick owns the animal. No registration for you unless you use his animals exclusively. Yeah, it's a definite Pyramid scheme.

    And all that "work closely with us to develop" blah, blah, blah. What a load. The people who purchased my cow from the breeder, after talking with the breeder and Dick at the Puyallup fair, tried and tried to work with Dick for development of "Kentshires," but he was very unresponsive once he had their money for the first-generation cross breedings. He was too busy reeling new novice cow owners with more money than cow sense. Besides, he didn't have the genetic diversity to offer, and unless he owned the bull, or it came from his stock, the calves wouldn't be "Kentshires." There would be no further progression through generations for them!

    What I find most interesting is that he does not like Dexter cattle. I spoke with the guy while trying to work out registration on my cow. No registration was ever forthcoming, of course, but that cow had been bred to a tiny Miniature Kentshire (TM) bull, by golly, so the calf could have been registered as a "Kentshire." I dunno, the steer was tasty, but much larger than his Dexter momma. Why is it, do you think, that he's usually pictured standing next to a new "breed" calf rather than an adult? But I digress.

    While we were on the phone, Dick Gradwohl spent quite a bit of time trying to convince me that the dwarfing (achondroplasia) gene made Dexters wholly unsuitable as homestead livestock because of bulldog calves. When I mentioned the fact that any trouble caused by that gene is completely avoidable, that didn't really fit in with his marketing plan, so he ignored it and crowed ever more loudly about bulldog calves. Really, though, it was rather unconvincing since the majority of his one-generation-deep "breeds" run back to Dexters, and having seen some of his tiny, malnourished-looking early stock, I'm thinking his miniature cattle are indeed carrying some dwarfing genes. Wonder what happens if you breed two short-legged "Kentshires"?

    But if people want small cattle that will actually breed true, and they figure out that the dwarfing gene isn't really much of a problem, they won't pay $10K for one of his mutt calves, so Dexters are bad, bad, bad. Just ask the "Cow . . . er . . . Richard."

    See what happens when you get me started? :hobbyhors (What happened to the "soapbox" smilie?)
     
  7. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    Just remember most cattle around the world the LOTS smaller then what is breed in this country. I want to get a miniature Jersey someday and make a pet out of it. I think that would be so cool.~! :)
     
  8. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    Not really true. The breeds we have here all originated elsewhere. There are some truly enormous breeds in Europe, like the Chianina that was developed to produce oxen. The only breeds I know of worldwide that are true miniatures are the old world type Jerseys and Dexters. Other breeds are just regular animals, although some are smaller, depends on their use and where they come from. There can be major variation in size in every breed. But miniatures like this guy is creating are just severely inbred scams.

    He could be putting all those "marketing" and "science" talents to good use and working to save some REAL rare breeds of cattle that could use some help to survive, but instead he's just busy inbreeding and screwing people over.
     
  9. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    Yes there are some bigger breeds. But the Holstein never started out with a bag Sooooo big it that some have to be HELD up with a STRAP. and such as that~!!. I am on 3 miniature cattle boards and some of them are now.
    'LESSOR' JERSEYS WILL RANGE FROM 38-42 INCHES TALL AT MATURITY- THE COWS WEIGH
    APPROX. 600-700 LBS. AND BULLS WEIGH APPROX. 800-900 LBS. AT BIRTH, A CALF'S
    AVERAGE WEIGHT IS 20-30 LBS AND IS FROM 20-28 INCHES TALL
    THIS SMALL JERSEY MAKES AN EXCELLENT FAMILY COW ON SMALL ACREAGE. THEY EAT
    ABOUT HALF AS MUCH AS A STANDARD SIZE COW AND GIVES 20-35 LBS. OF MILK DAILY.

    That is just perfect for a small homestead setup.
     
  10. Slev

    Slev Well-Known Member Supporter

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    .....I guess all of his fancy titles means that when he mucks out his barn he doesn't get any crap on his boots??????? makes me wish for a better education. I think I'm going to apply on line now to one of those degree programs you see in the back of magazines. HEY! looky here, it says if I can draw Tippy the turtle, I can paint masterpieces.....
     
  11. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Well, Arabian Night, I just went looking for Gradwohl's "Lessor Jersey" page. I couldn't find one, although he lists that as one of the "breeds" he's working with. I did find Tim O'Donnell's page, and the cows are sure cute. I didn't find too many other pages for "Lessor Jerseys." You know Gradwohl and Tim O'Donnell are working together on on what they call a "Belmont," right? A "Belmont" is what a woman I know bred as Belfairs years and years ago. Belfair's are any registered Dexter crossed on any registered Jersey, and then progressing through generations. The "Belmont" is a little different. A breeder trying for a "Belmont" can use any bull, as long as it's been approved by Gradwohl. Currently, there is one appproved Dexter bull, owned by Gradwohl. There is also one "Lessor Jersey" bull, owned by O'Donnell. The two Dexter bulls undergoing the "approval process" are also, concidentally I'm sure, owned by Gradwohl. Let's see . . . 4 bulls. How does that work for inbreeding? Personally, I'm staying well away from any breed with a trademarked name. I just hate feeling like a stooge.

    If you really do want a small Jersey cow at a realistic price, visit a Jersey dairy. There's one in our family, established by my husband's grandfather in the early 1900s. It's a well-known dairy, and their heifers have for years been recognized as desirable and highly productive show animals. Guess what you'll notice if you go visit the farm? A LOT OF JERSEY COWS ARE REALLY, REALLY SMALL!!! It came as quite a surprise to me, for sure. In fact, a lot of those gals weren't any bigger than my Dexter cow! Some were smaller! I bet if you go up to the farmer and tell him you'd like to purchase a cow or heifer that is small and will likely stay small, he'll be happy to sell you a suitable cow. Especially if you offer to pay even as much as a quarter of what you'd pay for a "Lessor Jersey."

    Or you can check out the American Miniature Jersey Association. They seem to be on the right track. Still expensive, but it looks as though there are enough of them out there that you could go through a whole career of breeding Miniature Jerseys without ever once contacting Gradwohl or O'Donnell.

    As a side note, I wonder whether either Gradwohl or O'Donnell owns a dictionary. Lesser: smaller, less or less important. Lessor: a person who gives a lease. Webster's Second College Edition. I suppose not seeming ignorant to anyone who reads about your cattle would be another good reason to avoid "Lessor Jerseys."
     
  12. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    I know Jerseys are small I rasie a Jersey steer every 2 years to put in the freezer for meat. But they get bigger then 39 inches. and weigh more then 600 pounds.
     
  13. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    So do "Lessor Jerseys." The majority of them, anyway. Like the ones you'll be able to buy. Do you really think a breeder is going to let go of the tiniest ones and remove his wonderful advertising subjects? I'm sorry. I should shut up. Do whatever you want. It just hacks me off to watch people get swindled, and I have a hard time keeping quiet about it.
     
  14. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    ROTFL :)
     
  15. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    I wonder how many have actually gone to the many web sites about just one mini breeds, the Jersey? They even have a mini Jersey Association. There are so many now from other types of cattle it is so neat to see that.

    LESSOR' JERSEY CATTLE ARE ALSO KNOWN AS: GUINEA JERSEY, RABBIT-EYED JERSEY,
    BARNYARD JERSEY, AND ISLAND JERSEY.

    THIS BREED WAS IMPORTED FROM THE ISLE OVER 100 YEARS AGO.

    http://www.homestead.com/minijerseysbydexter/index.html
     
  16. Tom McLaughlin

    Tom McLaughlin Tom

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    I don't know if this will add to the topic but I have book published in 1923 by E.S. Savage, and L.A.Maynard both Ph.D of Animal Husbandry at Cornell that has pictures of Grand Champion Fauvic's Star 313018 with a yearly record of 20,616 pounds of milk and 1006 lbs. butter fat. Owened by A.V. Barnes, New Canaan, Conn. It also states: Due to the long careful breeding and selection on the Isle of Jersey, and in this country the Jersey type is fairly well fixed.(1923 that was written)
    Also, (I can't remember where I read this) small African cattle were imported to the Isle to decease size and add horns..
     
  17. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    I know a number of people with miniature Jerseys. You can register with the AMJCA as a foundation animal as long as the adult cow or bull is under a certain height requirement. They aren't a separate breed. Like Laura said, you can find really small Jersey's in your average Jersey dairy barn. Heck, I saw an adult Guernsey cow that couldn't have weighed more then 600 lbs and been 40" at the shoulder. My Guernsey weighs nearly twice that and is a lot taller- still the same breed of cow. Thankfully no one is trying to create a mini-Guernsey, I think the AGA would come down on them like a ton of bricks and rightly so.
     
  18. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was told that all the jersey cattle that were originally imported to the US from the Isle of jersey had horns and were small, 42" or so. The Isle of Jersey had banned imports of cattle for a very long time prior to this, so any outside influences were minimized.

    Once here, someone developed a strain of hornless Jerseys, most likely by outcrossing with one of the polled British breeds. The resulting polled Jerseys also had a lot of black markings appear. Some were all black. To this day, black markings appear in polled Jerseys.

    Some people selected the largest of their Jerseys to keep, thereby gradually increasing their size. Nowadays, an average standard American Jersey stands several inches taller than it's forebears. It became popular to cross a Jersey Cow with a Dexter bull to get a miniature calf. There are a lot of these out there now. The perfessor calls them Belmonts.

    Some people claim to have Jerseys that are directly descended from the originals, and are still small. However, most of them that they offer are polled, so they can't trace all the way back to the originals. No one really kept accurate records so that a modern Jersey can be traced all the way back to the original imports.

    There are those who claim to have directly imported Jerseys from the current Isle of Jersey herd, even though such imports are forbidden.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
     
  19. DJ in WA

    DJ in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Can someone tell me why you’d want to cross a Dexter with a Jersey?

    I had a Dexter cow – poor producer of milk and her steer calf was scrawny and had horn buds to deal with.

    So, why cross a scrawny Dexter with a very scrawny Jersey?

    Makes more sense to cross the Jersey with a Lowline angus. Many quality bulls out there with good meat-making potential. Makes for a smaller calf without horns that can make meat and milk.

    Were I wanting a small dual purpose cow, I’d go to a Jersey dairy and ask if they’d breed a few cows AI to Lowline angus bulls. Twenty to thirty bucks per straw plus shipping. A lot cheaper than buying high priced miniatures. Buy the calves – keep the heifer(s) as family cow(s), and eat/sell the bull calves. No dehorning required.

    Breed the jersey/angus cows back AI to lowline angus and have beefy calves. Or breed to miniature Jersey semen if you want to get milkier calves. And get 2 to 3 gallons a day milk from the Jersey/Angus cows if you want, or let the calves have it. Fewer problems than pure Jersey cows - even the miniatures can have milk fever, mastitis, etc. Less inbreeding, more hybrid vigor crossing different breeds.

    I bought such a cow ready-made, so didn’t have to find a dairy, so don’t know how excited they’d be about the idea. But there’s a price for everything, and as Laura said, for a fraction of what the pure miniatures cost, they’d probably be interested.
     
  20. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, I do know that my relative brought the first registered Jerseys West of the Alleghenys. Our little town was Jersey central decades ago.
    The majority of our current herd (if not all..I think there may be one or two lines that don't) trace back to that original group brought over here.
    An excerpt written by my grandmother;

    The first registered Jerseys to arrive west of the Alleghenys were brought in 1867 by James Edgerton to his home south of Barnesville. The next year, 1868, L. P. Bailey, also of Barnesville, traded a threshing machine for some of these Jerseys and used them as a foundation for a herd of such national renown that Belmont County became known as the "Home of the Jersey Cow."
    When L. P. Bailey's niece, Edna Bailey, married L. J. Taber, she was given a Jersey heifer calf as a wedding present. This calf, Lady Blythe, was the foundation of the Taber herd and had more gold medal daughters than any other Jersey cow at that time.
    In 1948, Franklin and Florence (Edgerton) Rockwell (James Edgerton's grand-daughter) went to work in a partnership arrangement with L. J. Taber. When they left, in 1957, for a farm of their own, they took their share of these same Jerseys as the foundation of their herd. The rest stayed at the Taber Farm to become the Olney Friends School herd.
    "

    That herd that remained at Olney is going to be sold......those traceable genetics most likely lost as it looks likes most of the papers won't go with them.

    We have some neat documents with regards to the Jerseys coming here as well.
    The polled issue has always struck a cord with me with the "MiniJersey" and "Lessor" Jersey folks.
    This herd has always had horns (except for the polled genes brought in in the past few decades..mostly through the crossing though). Photos of winners and the Jersey cow generally depict horns as well, so it seems strange to claim that the original Jerseys were polled since polled is a dominant gene.

    Ah well.
    Not my place really. I like our girls.