Miniature animals are nothing new such as Miniature horses. But mini cows? How does that even happen?
Turns out, there’s really no secret behind mini cows. They have been developed in the same way horse breeders developed the miniature horse: primarily through select breeding. Mini cow breeders will take their desired “regular size” breed, like the lovely red and white splotched beef breed the Hereford for example, and cross it with a Dexter, a cattle breed known for its particularly small stature.
The resulting progeny will hopefully have the coloring of a Hereford and the size of a Dexter. Then with subsequent generations, breeders will select the animals that are the smallest, honing in the gene pool for size specificity. Eventually you’ll get cattle roughly 36 to 42 inches in height and voila: mini cows!
Other than the sheer uniqueness of a mini cow, you might wonder why anyone would actually have one. Truthfully, many folks have minis as pets — they make efficient grass cutters that require less hay in the winter and less space in terms of housing. They also tend to be somewhat docile in nature, which I think corresponds to their size — they are handled more because they are small and therefore are tamer than perhaps your larger bovine.
Some breeds of mini cow are actually endangered and some people are attracted to the preservation of a unique breed. Because of their small size, mini cows are easier to keep than larger bovines and thus can attract small-time hobby farmers. Exhibitions at shows and farm events are popular places to see mini cows and gives breeders a chance to educate the public.
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