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Miniature Cows As Pets

Miniature Cows As Pets

Hank Mini Bull

The current trend in the miniature cattle industry is families wanting a pet mini cow. Bringing one of these little fluffy cows home is a big task, but can be so rewarding.  Properly preparing your property and family for the adventure ahead is key to your success. We have spent many years providing families with little animals that enrich their lives and families. However, they are still animals and proper handling is required for your safety.  Here are what we feel are the key elements to look at before deciding to bring a miniature cow home.

How To Choose Miniature Cattle Breeds:

There are so many little cattle breeds out there that we do not have time to look at all of them. We are going to look at the top 4 breeds that people look at for pets. Miniature Highland, Highpark, Belted Galloway, and Dexter. Miniature Highlands and Highparks are the little fluffy cows that you see all over social media. They are by far the most popular breeds sought after by families.  

Highlands have long fluffy coats and come in a variety of colors from black and red to silver and white.

Highparks are white and have colored points (ears, muzzle, and lower legs). The cross with Highlands gives them a nice fluffy coat.

Belted Galloways are also called “oreo or cookie” cows. They have a white band around their bellies. Belties are typically black, but can come in red and dun.

 Lastly, Dexters are miniature cows that are normally solid black or red. Want to dive deeper into the different breeds click here.

 

Are mini cows safe as pets:

The most important thing to know is that although miniature cattle are smaller than standard cattle they will still grow into animals that can be anywhere from 300-1000 pounds at maturity. They do not stay a tiny calf forever! Also, they are animals and you need to take time to learn and understand their behavior. It is very important to make sure that you are working with a reputable breeder. A breeder that takes the time to train your animal before you get them home. A breeder that will take the time to have an in depth conversation on how to handle your mini highland (or other breed) once you get them home. You can pet, brush groom and love your mini cow as long as you set clear boundaries with what is allowed and not allowed. Remember, something that might be cute when they are babies can become a dangerous habit when they are full grown. 

Where will my miniature cow live:

Your miniature cow should be kept outdoors. It is important to provide enough space for them to move around and enjoy themselves. Additionally, make sure to provide a secure and comfortable shelter to protect them from the elements such as wind, rain, snow, and sun. For more information on creating the ideal living environment for your miniature cow, refer to our blog post on facilities. It is worth noting that contrary to common belief, they cannot be house trained.

Can I have just one miniature cow:

This is a frequently asked and excellent question. The simple answer is yes you can have just one little cow. However, they are herd animals and they prefer to have other cows around. So, getting more than one will make your little much happier. They will also feel safer and more secure. It’s similar to sending a child to the playground without any other children to play with. Can they still play? Yes, but it’s definitely more enjoyable when there are other children to play with.

Should I get “a boy or a girl little cow”:

So…. a “cow” is actually a female bovine.  The word “cow” gets misused in reference to all cattle regardless of sex and it is incorrect. Getting a male (bull or steer) or female (cow or heifer) is really a personal preference. Males that have been castrated (steers) make amazing pets. Females also make great pets. When getting your first miniature, we highly recommend that you not get a bull. Bulls are for those who have more experience in handling cattle and good containment facilities. Take a few minutes to learn about the terms and differences in cattle sexes here.

Can I get a boy and girl and breed them:

When first starting with any type of miniature cattle it is not recommended to start out breeding. Getting to know and understand cattle is extremely important before breeding them. We know how tempting it is to have one of those adorable little babies born at your home, but it is better left to breeders until you have had a few years of experience with your little fluffy cows. 

Only bulls have horns, right?

No, this is not true! It is the breed of cattle that determines whether or not it will have horns, not the sex of the animal. You can learn more about what breeds have or do not have horns in our explanation of breeds blog.