miniatures?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Rouen, May 22, 2005.

  1. Rouen

    Rouen Well-Known Member

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    I know there're many different types/breeds of miniature cattle, now it seems to me that it'd make more sence for someone with a small homestead to have miniatures than full sized cattle, does anyone here homestead with miniatures and can someone hook me up with a detailed site about the different types/breeds?
    thanks
     
  2. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    I would love to have some miniature cattle. But the prices are way to much for me.

    Normally with smaller animals, you don't spend as much on food and all that stuff. Tend to be easier on your fencing, etc. etc..

    At least my mini horses and jenny are, compaired to their fulled sized counter parts.
     

  3. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can check out the MiniJersey Group on Yahoo!
     
  4. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

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    There's also a site, www.minicattle.com


    I emailed the gentleman once, but really have had no direct contact with him. Out of two people I know, one really swears by him and one doesn't have much use for him. The prices are way steep. There are many opportunities to buy mixed breed cattle....I'd look into one of those.
     
  5. homemominmilton

    homemominmilton Member

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    We have a young Dexter (about 8 months), we got her when she was 6 mths old for $850. Pretty steep, but she is very tame and easy on the fencing. We plan on using this breed for milk and meat.
     
  6. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Actually, I think Dexters, Guinea Jerseys, and Zebu about the only real so called miniature" cattle. There are no other real types/breeds that I am aware of. It is my opinion these so called "breeds" are the product of some very slick snake oil salesmen types, most are just small cattle with color patterns. Virtually all of these are MUTTS based on the use of small Irish Dexter bulls crossed with something else. This whole miniature cattle thing is yet another high dollar sucker hustle. Can you say Emu, Pot Bellied Pig, Llama, Alpaca, etc? I had a call last week from a guy that had some miniature cattle he is trying desperately to sell. In spite of what he had been told by the seller he bought them from, he can't find a buyer. He ran them through the local sale barn AND DIDN'T GET A BID. Not registered, "but they look like really small Dexters, they only weigh 450 pounds. When I asked how he knew what they weighed, after some hemming and hawing he fessed up one of them was weighed at the vet clinic when she was there to have a calf pulled. He wanted "only" $2,000 ea. for them “and that is a lot less than I gave, that’s a really good deal", and I think he believed that was true. I am continually amazed at the number of people that get fleeced by these schemes. All it takes is a little common sense to tell you that the only way to make big bucks on this kind of a deal, and greed is what drives these scams, is to find other fools with more money that brains to sell your product to. There is no possible way to milk or meat your way out of an animal costing $10,000. If people would curb their get rich quick urges, think a little, and look the structure of this market before plunking down that kind of money everyone would be better off............except the con artists, but unfortunately all some people can see is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
     
  7. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    I know of one of the people that started breeding mini cattle,, and not the naturally small ones either.
    Lots of bad things happen when they deal with him and he has done this with a few breeds of sheep. Sigh ~~

    For me,, I have been looking at the Zebu, Dexters, and Highlands.
    Have talked to people that have Zebu's, but do not have any for sale,, and I am hearing really nice things about that breed.

    But around here, every one has Angus or those 2000lb ones.. just to big for me.
     
  8. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Zebu are cute no doubt, but other than that what are they good for? Way too small and expensive to eat and I have never heard of anyone milking them, they don't tolerate cold well, and more than a few have fertility issues. My vet tends to a herd of Highlands that he calls "those damned shaggy things that are all hair, horns, and attitude". I guess I am biased since I have raised Dexters for many years, but I don't think you can beat their combination of reasonable price, ready availability, hardiness, good disposition, and the fact that they are decent milkers and good beefers.
     
  9. shelbynteg

    shelbynteg Well-Known Member

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    They are ridiculously expensive now, but I am adding the Lowline cattle to my place. This is a breed that was developed by downsizing angus, I want this because the angus are the breed that marbles on grass, and grassfed is what my customers want to buy. I have a nice jersey cow that I'm AI'ing this month with Lowline. Heifer or bull, I'll likely hold onto the offspring. I've got my eye out for some Dexter cows as well, with the idea of breeding up to purebred Lowline with the Dexters.

    Regarding Highlands, there is a monstrous thread on this forum about some Highland heifers who escaped from their owner the day he purchased them, I can't remember how long it took him to recapture them, it was certainly months...I've got no interest in stock that's hard to handle!
     
  10. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    Just looken for small easy to handle pasture mowers (steers). Have grass growing out of my ears, so to speak.

    I have someone I know, that raises Beef how I like it, and they sell it for a fair price. So I buy it from them.
     
  11. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    Actually, Lowline Angus are the orginal size of Angus.

    I have a really problem with all these miniature breeds being created. The natural small breeds like Dexter, Island Jersey, and the Lowlines are fine. But they are coming up with mini Milking Shorthorns and everything else. Where the heck are these gene pools coming from? There has got to be massive inbreeding going on and probably crossing with other mini breeds. Not to mention all the problems you are adding with the smaller size and inbreeding. And the absolutely ridiculous prices! I'd rather have my one full sized cow then spend thousands on a few smaller ones.
     
  12. Tarot Farm

    Tarot Farm Well-Known Member

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    I have found two Belted Galloway minis so far and I am still looking for more. I wanted the Belties and am willing to wait until I find more of them to start a herd. I also raise Miniature Horses and mini sheep. Mini llamas are probably next.

    Brenda
     
  13. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

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    seen the mini-longhorns yet???

    I keep wondering how they don't topple over... :rolleyes:
     
  14. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    For those that want a medium frame animal with good overall characteristics I suggest they look at the Murray Grey beef breed. I have a few of these animals in my beef herd just by chance and I have been impressed by the breed. I see no reason why the Murray Grey could not function as a milk cow also. The mature ones that I have appear to give a lot of milk as the have good udders and a large bag resembling a Jersey. I have observed that these cattle stay fat year around on grass only. They have no birthing problems and are very docile. I have not processed one for my table but I have read that the meat grades choice off grass and the yields are high. The Murray Grey is a productive animal and should not require a premium when buying one as they are not fad animals.
     
  15. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    http://miniaturejerseys.com/

    Here's Fonnie's site. She has the largest herd of true "miniJerseys" in the States. Irish Jerseys are actually Jerseys crossed with Dexters.
     
  16. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Dexters are pretty affordable compared to other dairy breeds. The most expensive one I've found was a yearling heifer for $1000. I just bought a egistered cow/calf pair out of the best milking dexter sire in the country (so I was told). She has an awesome milk bag compared to the Jersey I just sold. She gives four gallons a day right now. She weighs about 500 lbs. Be cautious of what you buy however. I think there has been some crossbreeding with angus somewhere down the line. The sire to her calf weighed 1200-1300 lbs. That is way too large for a dexter IMHO. I also bought a two week old heifer and two week old bulf calf that I am bottle feeding right now. So far I have no complaints whatsoever. I can feed two full grown Dexters for the one Jersey cow I had. My milk cow gives 4x the milk. If I remember right their milk also has a 4% butterfat. There is a good market for them as well.
     
  17. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree with you about the Angus cross. This, I firmly believe, this is where what are alleged to be polled Dexters came from. This is also why we are seeing ever larger "Dexters". I have a Dexter cow that I bought, but didn't register, that is almost indistinguishable from my neighbors Angus. When they were close to the line fence together I really had to look close to see much difference, she was about the same height, just a bit finer boned, and a more dairy looking. We use her to raise our freezer calf each year. She has excellent beefy calves that do really well and make some of the best meat we have ever had.
     
  18. G. Seddon

    G. Seddon Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Quailkeeper, please can you tell me about the mothers of the Dexter bottle babies and how you came to get the calves so young?

    65284, I hope you will reconsider registering your Dexter cow...otherwise, she'll be "lost" to the registry. Is she your only Dexter? I imagine that if you're using her to nurse calves, you are breeding her? Is it difficult getting her to accept other calves?

    G.
     
  19. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Gale, she is one of 25 Dexters we have. I won't register her because I am suspicious of her parentage. We do breed her and that is the calf we raise to butcher. I have never used her as a tittie cow but she has plenty of milk, and I do, in moments of insanity, milk her. She is an easy going cow with a good disposition so I imagine she would make a good foster mother. Are you going to be at Springfield?

    BK
     
  20. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    My little bull calf (to be butchered) had a difficult birth. The mother was 12 yrs old and bred to one of the large dexters. I had already contacted the owner about buying any calf and she called to let me know that I might have to come get him early. When he was ten days old the cow had still not recovered so she said come get him. She ran the cow thru the sale barn. The heifer calf was also from the same lady. She bought a cow/calf pair from another guy who was keeping 12 dexters on three acres. The cow was pretty run down so she wanted to pull the calf and give the cow a chance to put weight on. Both are registered and doing great!! They are around three weeks old. Just call around and tell the people you are willing to take on a bottle calf if something happens. A lot of people don't want to mess with bottle feeding a calf for 3-6 months and you can save a lot of money this way.