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  1. #1

    Mini cattle or full size?

    Still debating if it will be worth having full size cattle on the farm for survival purposes... They just eat sooo much and drink tons of water to boot....
    Might want to consider these, read between the lines for the survivalist, not needed to feed an army, these might be the ticket.

    there are many reasons for owning miniature cattle over standard sized. Here are some of the main reasons to own miniature cattle.

    The cost to grow crops has gotten to the point that livestock anymore seems to be for the rich and famous. Fertilizer prices have increased some much that farms can't hardly get it in their fields. That of course has driven hay to a all time crazy high making prices higher than anyone ever imagined. Corn, soybean and byproduct components have also reached amazing heights. What does this all mean? It is going to cost us more to feed our livestock in the future. This is a main reason that smaller livestock such as miniature cattle have found a home here in the United States. Cattle that eat 1/3 the amount of standard sized cattle in the future are the future.

    The average mature miniature cow weighs between 300 and 700 pounds which is far smaller than standard sized cattle. Almost all miniature cattle breeds have a more docile nature and even most mature bulls are friendly enough to walk near. It is easy for small children to feed the calves due to their extremely smaller size. If halter broke even a child can handle most adult cows and lead them around.

    There are several miniature cattle dairy breeds that give the same quality milk as modern dairy cows just smaller amounts. Miniature Jerseys and Dexter's breeds are examples that have high components in their milk and make great family milk cows. Lots of families want home fresh milk just squeezed from the teat instead of milk from the store which may have added hormones and sometimes BST. Lots of family's have tried Goats milk but prefer cow milk but just can't afford to feed a standard sized cow or even have the land size to keep such a animal. Miniature milkers are the perfect family milk cow due to their efficiency and size.

    HOME RAISED BEEF..........
    With the rising cost of beef or meat in the supermarket many landowners have looked into the alternative of raising there own beef. Many don't own more than a few acres but still would love to raise something nice. This is where miniature beef breeds have recently come on the scene and found a place in the cattle market. Breeds such as Lowline Angus, miniature Herfords, Galloways and Dexter's have really pushed the way for home grown beef, hobby farmers as well as cattle men who wants to run more cattle per acre and in doing so get more choice cuts. These breeds are half the size of standard animals but can still be enough for a family.

    There are many reasons to own miniature cattle. Miniature cattle are not the ostrich and the egg or something else that sounds like it came from Mars. Almost everyone can relate to cows in some way or another. 40 years ago all our ancestors had some kind of cattle. Miniature cattle have all the same great things we remember just in a smaller package. Miniature cattle are unique, fun to look at and interesting to have on the farm because they're something different. Many people enjoy caring for livestock but don't want a goat that everyone has or a horse no one rides. With miniature cattle the smaller ones are most prized and adored.

    Many of us remember being raised on the farm. For some of us this life style has faded. With miniature cattle children can play a big part in raising and caring for these little cattle. In doing so we are teaching responsibility and work ethics something lost to many inner city children. Miniature cattle also make great FFA projects, fairs and petting zoos. They have even been to birthday parties. They can be therapeutic for disabled children and good old fashion farm fun.

    TAX WRITE OFF............
    Many people want to turn their house and a few acres into a miniature farm. In most states this requires 3 breeding stock meaning 3 head of females or more. The law doesn't state how big the livestock have to be. It only says you have to have so many head on your land. Miniature cattle are the perfect fit for this reason. Here in Utah they call this a green belt meaning your house and few acres is now a miniature farm and now eligible for writing everything off on your taxes. Your feed, everything the animals need and even driving to pick up your hay can all be written off. It is a great break come tax Time.

  2. #2
    I haven't really thought of miniatures. But I guess they do fit the bill, so to speak. I was leaning towards Scottish Highland Cattle to be honest, not true miniatures, but smaller than the average hereford breed from what I have been told. Also been thinking about what goat breeds to have and which breed of pigs. One cannot live on rabbit alone. For poultry, obviously chickens, but adding guineas to my list for tick control, duck for variety (meat variety), and haven't decided on whether to go with geese or turkey for my big poultry. Just hard to find someone with these animals on the web with experience and willing to talk about pros and cons...

    How about you guys. What are your survival meat projects, other than rabbit. **big grin**

  3. #3
    There is usually a problem with trying to raise turkey and chickens. Some have done it successfully, but most of the time it causes a disease called "black spot" i believe. It will kill the turkey's. My "uncle" had about 100 chickens and tried to raise turkeys in a separate pen 75 yards away and the turkeys never made it. He gave up after 3 years in a row.

    Geese in my opinion (depending on the type) would be excellent if you have a source of water. We used to raise a few Easter ducks (white geese) when i was growing up. We always would turn them loose in a local cemetery with a pond after a few years. All we used was a child's waiting pool. When the water in the pool started to stink to bad, we pumped it on the garden, the garden loved it.

    Guinea's are good, especially for what you said and will let you know when something is not right. I have never been able to get them to stay around the place after release, they have always left.

  4. #4
    "Scottish Highland Cattle"

    Might not be the best breed for Texas. They have a heavy coat for Winter weather.

    I'm partial to Belted breeds (i like the belted Galloway) although a brown cow might be a better choice.

  5. #5
    Interesting... I did read somewhere that they are raising them in Texas, with good results. Being a very adaptable breed. But don't hold me to that. Been a long time since I did my research on cattle. But your link got me curious, I saw what looked like a mini jersey or guernsey. =)
    Last edited by Klayton; 08-28-2010 at 09:05 PM.

  6. #6
    CAPSTONE MEMBER 610Alpha's Avatar
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    My community college used to have a multi-cultural dinner and the econ prof was from Africa and he would make barbecued Goat. Tasted great!! My father-in-law are thinking of raising our own beef and with these miniature cattle the odds just increased. Thanks for the link.
    Last edited by 610Alpha; 09-03-2010 at 02:16 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Your not going to save that much money on feed with a miniature to make it worthwhile thats my opinion. Ive worked at a feed yard and if you wanted a cheaper less intensive type of cattle i dont know the exact name of them but we got truck loads of them too feed out from Mexico we just called them mexican cattle. they were a brama cross of some sort. they never got sick and handled the cold that southwest ks can dish out.

    working at a feed yard will quickly change how you look at meat in the supermarket and make you want to raise your own or pick your own fat cow out at the feed yard.

    Ducks can be a pain and they are so dirty. chickens are really easy to care for my problem with turkeys was they always grew faster than their legs/muscles could handle.

    I think goats are the best if you dont want alot of big cattle. goats dont need alot and they eat anything and they taste great.

  8. #8
    One of the pluses of mini catttle, is that you don't have to use worry about canning or smoking or jerky it. With aa family of 8 a lot of left overs to deal with. Just thought. Between several families a mini would get used up quick

  9. #9
    I think goats are the best if you dont want alot of big cattle. goats dont need alot and they eat anything and they taste great.
    Goats are known as the "Poor mans cow". They will tolerate all kinds of weather and will eat most anything. Keep their water high, they like to back up and dirty the bucket for some reason. I never ate goat but they have mannerisms and act and look a lot like white-tail deer, think they might be similar in taste. Understand the Arab/Chaldean population from the Detroit area have goat roasting over a spit on special occasions... (from a goat raiser I know).

  10. #10
    for the cost alone, mini's are simply not worth it in my opinion. They are very expensive to purchase, finding a stud is difficult for breeding so often must own two in order to have offspring and feed costs are not much less than a standard breed cow. Dexters or highlanders are both good breeds to think of if looking for a smallish cow, as are jersey's. If someone is looking for a smaller animal for multi-purpose use i.e. milk, product, meat- goats are the way to go- goat when butchered proper(hygienically- as in not smelling like pee because the bucks pee on themselves and others) and cooked right taste some what like venison

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