In the Market for a Mini Cow?
Note: Since this post was published in 2012, Crossroads Dairy is no longer in the mini cattle market. We apologize for any inconvenience.
On his family’s dairy just outside of Delta, UT, Anthony Cabral breeds and raises Miniature Cattle. Yep…little cows! To be classified as a true miniature, the full grown cow or bull must measure under 42″ at maturity (typically by age 3), and, depending on the breed and the size, the full-grown miniature ranges anywhere from 200-800 pounds. Anthony got into raising miniatures when he was just 15 years old. Having grown up on his family’s dairy – Crossroads Dairy – he had always been interested in taking care of the animals and the breeding process. He came across mini cows on the internet and drove to New York to buy his first 4. What started off as just a hobby has taken off and become a side business. Currently on the farm, Anthony has about 70 mini cows. Numbers fluctuate based on customer demand and economic considerations, but for the past several years, he has had both semen and stock available for sale.
So why raise a mini-cow?
As it turns out, there are a lot of reasons...
- Backyard Pets & Personalized Milkers: The really small breeds serve as great pets and double as a food source. With a smaller animal, the idea of a backyard milking cow is more of a reality for many families. Miniature cattle can live comfortably on a just 1/2 acre of land.
- Mini Rodeo Bulls: The increasing popularity of bull riding means that kids are getting into the mix at younger and younger ages. Because of their lighter frame, smaller breeds like the Miniature Zebus is a safer option.
- Home-Raised Beef: There is a growing trend of backyard agriculture and a desire to get back to the farm. Miniature beef breeds include Lowline Angus, miniature Herfords, Galloways, and Dexters. Raising an animal for food can be a great learning experience for kids and a great, healthy way to put food on the table.
- Efficiency & Safety: Miniature breeds eat about 1/3 the feed as traditionally-sized cattle. Though they produce less milk and/or meat, for personal use, their size is a great advantage. Miniatures are also safer. Most breeds are more docile, making them easier for small children to feed and handle.