Thursday, September 20, 2007

miniature cattle

One of my readers commented that she didn't realize Meatloaf was a miniature. 

Cliff and I had talked about getting Secret a friend for months before we made the move; she was so lonely that she'd almost knock me down trying to play, when I went out to feed her.

Trouble is, Cliff doesn't like to go to sale barns.  Or drive very far, unless he's on the motorcycle.

So I mentioned on Homesteading Today cattle message board that I wanted something cheap, preferably a Jersey bull calf, as a buddy for my heifer.  The only response I got was from a man who said he had a couple of Irish Dexter bull calves he'd sell.  A bird in the hand, you know, is worth two in the bush.

Miniature cattle of any kind are not my preference (nor miniature goats, horses, or pigs), but Meatloaf is serving his purpose well.  I'm sure the beef we get from him will be tasty when he's butchered, even if there isn't much of it. 

As I understand it, the breed was almost extinct until it was rediscovered by hobby farmers with just a few acres.  I'm sure people think they are cute, being so small.  I can tell you that Meatloaf is quite good-natured, considering he wasn't raised as a pet.  The man from whom we bought him has a lovely little herd of dun (reddish) Dexters.

Here's some information I gleaned on the Internet:

"According to the standards adopted by the American Dexter Cattle Association, the ideal three year old Dexter bull measures 38 to 44 inches at the shoulder and weighs less than 1000 pounds. The ideal three year old Dexter cow measures between 36 to 42 inches at the shoulder, and weighs less than 750 pounds. There are two varieties of Dexters, short legged and long legged or Kerry type. Milk and beef production and other characteristics are generally the same for both types. The same dam and sire may produce a short legged calf in one mating and a long legged calf the next."

I'd say Meatloaf is the short-legged variety.

To read more, click HERE for the entire article.

A friend of Cliff's recently purchased a small herd of Highland cattle, another miniature breed. 


amy122389 said...

I LOVE mini Highlands!  Some day...  :-D


redpoppy007 said...

awwe..don't kill meatloaf..poor secret will miss him.

luvmort said...

So, is he minature or just vertically challenged?

ktkamanski said...

It's a match made in heaven or in a bush! Love Secret and her friend Meatloaf! Take care and thank you for sharing this information.

fowfies said...

Thanks for the links, and after your entry I went hunting on the internet and found all kinds of info. I had looked at them long time ago when they were not as popular as they are now and it was hard to find them. There is a lady just an hour away that has the highland cattle. I love them! I think they are really cool, something I might like to have some day.

suzypwr said...

I had no idea that they came in mini size :-)


ickivic said...

They are so cute, Secret has really grown , seems like yesterday that she arrived.  Her bell is precious.    Vicki

randlprysock said...

I had no idea there were miniature cattle... who would have figured...?  Learn something new everyday...
Lisa : )

swank75 said...

I've always wondered why anyone would raise miniatures, but then I was introduced to a couple and almost bought a pair of breeders, but I didn't.

What I"ve always wanted to try raising some Belted Galloways. I had some steaks from this breed one time and fell in love.
Looks like it's a hard, or at least expensive raquet to break into.