1) Where Do Miniature Cattle Come From?
Miniature Herefords were bred by the Largent family of Texas (United States of America) and the breeding program commenced in 1970's.
2) Are They Dwarfs?
No. Miniature Hereford cattle have been deliberately bred smaller and originate from top quality bloodlines, all proven free of dwarfism.
They do not carry the Achondroplasia (dwarfism) gene and therefore there is no risk of a genetically generated deformity or abortion. Calf losses are extremely small and even heifers show ease of calving. Newborn calves are vigorous and healthy.
3) What Are They Good For?
Miniature Cattle are exceptional beef cattle that thrive on limited feed intake thus lowering production costs while producing halfsize cuts of lean, flavourful, high quality beef. Miniature Cattle will winter on roughly one-third the feed of many of the crossbred cows popular today. They are fast maturing and have excellent birth to weight gains. They reach market weights earlier and for roughly one-third the feed costs and have very
4) Are they a novelty?
Miniature Cattle are naturally quiet in temperament, are easy to handle and raise. This makes them very popular for small acreage farmers, they are also fast being seen to have great advantages to the large beef farmers, who are looking ahead to smaller high quality cuts of meat, along with the advantages of less damage to pasture and facilities and more efficient feed conversion with higher carcass yields. This makes Miniature Cattle a very dual purposed animal suited to all our different requirements.
5) Is there a market for the meat?
Miniature Cattle are still relatively new here in New Zealand so we still have a way to go before we have our own direct market for this high quality meat. Australia already has an established demand for the wellmarbled, yet lean carcasses of Lowline Cattle through beef companies that market direct to hotels and restaurants. I see that this will follow in New Zealand with Miniature Hereford Cattle However, the biggest challenge facing the current breeder market is to build up enough numbers of stock. To do this we need to increase the numbers of breeders and NZMHBG Members and do more marketing to increase awareness of the breed Due to their smaller more convenient size, Miniature Cattle will also become very popular for the home kill market, as these are not too much for the average home freezer.