If you have a little space and grass you don't need, you should consider the benefits of miniature cattle. Miniature cattle offer many positive benefits. Lowline Angus cattle are an alternative that offers a sure and positive return while giving you all of the benefits most exotic animals have to offer. The most obvious benefit is the traditional production of milk and beef. This is the positive bottom line that establishes the confidence that they will generate a positive return and hold their value premium. The health benefits of wholesome, unadulterated milk, and natural beef are very significant and cannot be denied.
Few people today are so isolated that they fail to understand the added nutritional value and safety of natural food. The educated, health conscious consumer, is willing to seek out natural producers and reward their efforts. Recent nutritional studies on our miniature beef animals conducted at Utah State Animal Science Department by Dr. Tilak Dihman show a positive Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio of 4.10 to 1. There is a much higher concentration of CLA because the smaller, more efficient animals can finish on forage alone. Now the diet conscious can have it all. Less fat in a nutrient dense ideally sized package. No lifestyle change needed.
Lowlines eat 1/3 the amount of traditional fuil sized cattle. Because they are bred for long, deep, wide backs, and shorter muscles, even a small place can produce a substantial amount of tender, quality cuts. A smaller concentrated ranch if you will, and more cow to match your hat. By marketing freezer friendly sizes of healthier meat direct to the consumer, at a premium, and avoiding all the middlemen, small acreages can rival the proficts of larger ranches.
We have taken careful steps to prove the added quality of Lowline beef. First, we have Univeristy of Idaho certified ultrasounds of yearling animals to show the larger bib eye areas in proportion to their size coupled with high choice marbling for tenderness and juiciness, in the presence of external fat in the low tenths of an inch. Second, we have taken this beef direct to the plate of local restaurants with very satisfactory results. This is the ultimate test companion to the healthy nutrient profiles mentioned above.
Since Miniature Lowline cattle fall into the unusual category, many people are just now becoming aware of their existence. Not every kid on the block has one, and they offer the pride of owning an attention getter. Usually, new owners report that they stop interested traffic, entice the local TV and newspaper to come see for themselves.
By far the most profitable aspect is the production and sale of full blood seed stock. The animals you buy, your improvements, along with all the means you use to produce what you sell is deductible to offset the taxes on your real estate and profits.
This is a great business for many reasons other than the financial return. For example, we started Mini Cows West as a way to teach our children self-reliance as their own employer. Entrepreneurship 101 if you wish to be more precise. The animals are easy to handle and managing them teaches independence, responsibility, and how to start and run a small business. These experiences return something money cannot buy. They are priceless tools for life.
Watching baby calves romp in the field sure beats sitting on a riding mower week after week when you could be doing something more healthy and profitable besides wasting gas and grass. The right animals will come to your call, eat from your hand, and go for walks with you. They will grow on you and for you as an easily managed livestock venture.
Good temperament is critical. This is especially true of pasture livestock of any kind where youngsters are involved. Lowlines are noted for their easygoing dispositions. Halter broke and proven gentle animals with gentle sires and dams are of course more valuable. We try to imprint newborns and work with young animals early. I'm convinced it works well. Bottle feeding a newborn is a certain way to assure a friend for life. Animals that are halter trained early will not forget and can be easily tuned up even after long periods of no hands on contact. We have delivered several animals to petting zoos and find that they are extremely compatible with all other species. They also do very well with horses of all sizes.
Does size matter? To many it does. With our new and exciting breakthrough in size without sacrificing quality or conformation, miniature cattle are down to 32 inches in height. The smallest are easy to keep, handle, and feed. They are great for kids.
Does gender matter? Depends on your purpose. For pets, we find little distinction. Bull calved of most breeds are usually more available and cost less. They train a bit easier and retain their training well. They can grow to be heavier than heifers. Heifers can be bred for calves, while bulls can breed for cavles. Both are needed to breed for seedstock unless you go artificial insemination or embryo implantation.
Full blood heifers are not plentiful and command a good startup price. Full blood bulls are more reasonable and available. Bulls and semen allow the use of cows you already have or can get, and produce heifer calves that can be bred up to purebreed status, or the steers to jumpstart your personal beef program with a smaller investment.
To sum up and add a couple more thoughts, miniature cattle require little in the way of improvements. Fencing can be as simple as 39 inch high mesh and steel posts. Shelter for most involves a wind break, although some small place to bring animals in for birthing, meds, training, etc. is a great help. Minis need no more health aids than their larger counterparts. in fact, they tend to be much healthier. Of course, they get more attention and care because of the pet factor.
Please address questions to us. Hopefully, we have the experience and resources to answer them all.