While each animal may be smaller, more meat can be produced overall from each acre, breeders say. And the smaller size of each animal also has its benefits.
Some people look to save money by buying an entire cow or a side of beef, it can be difficult to store the hundreds of pounds of meat from a 1,200- to 1,500-pound steer, of which about 40 percent makes it to the freezer.
Miniature cattle, which often are between 500 and 700 pounds, provide enough meat to last a family of four six months. That's just about the freezer shelf life of beef, said Bryan. And the meat tastes the same, depending on how the cattle has been raised and fed.
Richard H. Gradwohl, who has developed a number of small breeds at his Happy Mountain Miniature Cattle Farm in Covington, Wash., said six niche markets have developed for the miniature breeds.
Miniature cattle are primarily sold for use as pets, for small-scale milk production, breeding, showing, organic beef production or for the farm-grown market, which produces cattle on smaller farms, Gradwohl said. Sixty to 70 percent are sold as pets, he estimated.
Full miniature cattle are defined as those below 42 inches at the hip when fully grown, while mid-size miniatures are up to 48 inches, said Gradwohl, who registers 26 miniature breeds.
I get the impression from the goat thread that the miniture and dwarf goats are not necessarily easier to fence just because they are small. They are apparently more nimble and cunning.
Jami McBride wrote:
Good points Kathleen, maybe goats would be easier
Jami McBride wrote:
How cool Fred - post a pic for me
So how much milk are you getting daily?
And are you going to bread her (buy another cow) or send her out for that job?
Dianne Keast wrote:
So how big will a miniature cow get??
Do they have the same diet as big cows?
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