My friend Kim Morris and I were chatting yesterday when out of the blue she mentioned a story on Fox News about minature cow farming. Minature cows? My first thought is that you can't really trust Fox News so it was probably a hoax. Honestly, I had never heard of such but yes, after one Google search, I found many minature cow farms ie http://www.minicattlecountry.com/ and http://www.littlemoos.com/ just to name a few.
Apparently mini cow farms are quite the rage, especially amongst women farmers because they are easier to handle. As well, with rising feed costs, it obviously is more economical to own and feed a herd of mini cattle as opposed to their larger cousins.
There are also other benefits. As this article in the LA Times states, "Their miniature Herefords consume about half that of a full-sized cow yet produce 50% to 75% of the rib-eyes and fillets, according to researchers and budget-conscious farmers." The dairy cows can produce 2-3 gallons of milk per day. It's a little hard to milk them since you basically stand on your knees, but the dairy farmers say its well worth the effort.
"Minicows are not genetically engineered to be tiny, and they're not dwarfs. They are drawn from original breeds brought to the U.S. from Europe in the 1800s that were smaller than today's bovine giants, said Ron Lemenager, professor of animal science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind."
There are now more than 300 mini-Hereford cow farms in the US. That number is dramatically higher than in 2000 when there were less than 24 farms. You can now purchase a heifer for about $800 and a bull for about $1200. Phenomenal is all I can say.
I wonder how many mini-cows would fit on my 1/2 acre? :)
PS - I stand corrected. Kim Morris commented to this post reminding me that the topic of mini cows came about when I complained to her that I was addicted to my virtual farm on Facebook. Duh? That's where it came from. And no, I don't have mini-cows on my virtual farm. Thus far, I only have one cow, four horses and one rooster.
PSS - If these had been mini-moos, perhaps this might not have happened. Poor woman!