Not everyone wants big cattle and lots of people don’t have the room anyway. If you’ve got 5, 10, 20 or even 100 acres and you run the big Hereford you could find yourself supplementary feeding some if not all the year round. You could develop new relations with your neighbors as hungry cattle push on fencing and ultimately bust through. When it rains chances are your ground will get all pugged up and take a lot to repair. So, if you have a few acres, would like the pleasure of owning a couple of beautiful brown and white cows, maybe breeding some calves, I suggest you look at Miniature Herefords.
The modern day Miniature Hereford has been around since the 1960’s and a family in America bucked the trend of ‘’bigger has to be better’’ and selectively bred from the smallest Herefords they had. News of these little guys spread slowly around the world and Australia has a steadily growing group of dedicated people who are busily breeding robust, quiet, user friendly small cattle for others like ourselves. People with a few acres, possibly not much experience, basic facilities, and generally children or grandchildren who just love the idea of a pet in the paddock. Some of them are tired of mowing the ever-growing grass and want a couple of lawn mowers, others want to have their own homegrown beef. Miniature Herefords deliver on both counts and if you want to see baby calves frolicking in the sunshine then Minis can deliver that too.
Today’s mini is about half the size of the modern Hereford and are easily quietened and handled. Breeders pay a lot of attention to temperament as a placid mini is an absolute pleasure and ensures the enjoyment of the owners. To the uninitiated they won’t look any different from their big cousins and it won’t be until someone stands beside them that you realise they only come to about your hip. Mature Mini’s weigh about 300 – 400kg and are only classed as miniature by measurement at the age of 2. They are in the same herd book as the bigger cattle – they are just short in the leg and smaller in their frame which in a big animal is actually just a wasted resource anyway as all the meat is in the body. Our home butcher is very impressed with our minis and how they stack up. Not much waste and the best beef money could buy.
The Australian Miniature Hereford Breeders Network (AMHBN) is the perfect place to start if you’re interested in Miniature Herefords. An enquiry email will get sent to all the members and we’ll get in touch, keen to help, and to share what we know.