Mini-cows: breeds description, breeding features
Mini-cows are striking in their original appearance, but do not take them only as exotic breeds. Most animals are able to provide milk needs for individual farming and are unpretentious in keeping. Having considered the characteristics of the main breeds, you can choose a suitable animal for your purposes.
Features and main differences of mini-cows
By standard, dwarf cows should have a height at the withers of not higher than 1.1 m.
The features of these animals are also:
- weight - from 100–110 to 250–350 kg (for different breeds);
- milk yield - up to 3 liters of milk per day (7 liters for individual breeds).
Since mini-cows underwent constant selection, they are distinguished by good immunity. These animals are characterized by rapid acclimatization to various regions and living conditions.
It is worth noting the following advantages of miniature cows:
- ease of care;
- low feeding costs;
- tasty and healthy milk;
- pronounced maternal instinct;
- friendly character.
Did you know? Dwarf cow milk contains many phospholipids, which help restore the nervous system and brain function. The only drawback of such cows is the high cost.
Breeds of mini-cows
Despite the endurance and adaptability to various conditions, some breeds need a warm climate, and in Russia they can only be kept in heated rooms. You can find out how many mini-cows give milk in the characteristics of each breed.
The Scottish breed belongs to the meat direction and has a long coat. The color is often red, brown, sometimes black. Large horns sticking out to the sides are visible from afar. The mountain slopes of the native area instilled cows with endurance, frost resistance and unpretentiousness in food.
Learn more about the features of the Highland breed.
The meat productivity is explained by a rather large weight: a cow gains up to 550 kg, and a bull can weigh 750 kg. The calf appears with a weight of up to 25 kg. Highland meat has a great taste and dietary properties. The amount of milk is minimal (up to 3 l).
The breed is native to the Republic of Sakha and related to zebu cows. Animals have a long thick coat of various colors and vertical horns. The breed is unpretentious in care and tolerates severe frosts, resistant to leukemia, brucellosis, tuberculosis.
Get acquainted with the features of growing a Yakut mini-cow.
The weight of an adult cow is up to 400 kg, and a bull up to 600 kg. The milk of the Yakut cow has a fat content of 9–11% and a high protein content. The annual milk yield is up to 2 thousand liters (about 5-6 liters daily). The meat is high, "marble" type, with a small yield (50-60%).
Iowa plush cow
American decorative cows, which are officially considered not a separate breed, but a crossbreed. Animals have soft “plush” wool of various colors and a small udder not adapted to milking. There are no horns, and the long tail ends with a brush.
Did you know? Cows with plush wool are washed and dried weekly with a special hairdryer. Before the exhibitions, various means for wool, neoprene wraps and combing, and sometimes dyeing, are used.
The weight of a teddy cow is up to 550 kg, bulls - up to 800 kg. Breeding these cows for meat or milk is unprofitable, due to the high cost of buying animals, their nutrition and maintenance.
Strictly speaking, Jersey cows are not dwarf cows, but they have small parameters and can be considered mini-cows. In conditions of abundant feeding, animals can grow to medium size. The breed appeared on the island of Jersey (UK) and practically did not interbreed with others.
The breed is characterized by early maturity, easy calving and good character, however, it has a low immunity and features in feeding. For breeding in Russia, the southern regions are best suited, and in the north cowsheds with insulation will be needed.
Important! A significant part of the diet of Jersey cows in the homeland was algae, so their feed should contain an increased amount of iodine.
The average weight of a bull is 540–700 kg, cows - 400–500 kg. Jersey cows' milk is valued due to its high protein, calcium and fat content. At the same time, only 0.8 feed units are required per 1 liter of milk. The meat yield is low.
Indian miniature cows reach only 90 cm at the withers and are characterized by short horns and humps. Animals are resistant to hot climates and various diseases, clean and friendly. They have a practically zero mortality rate for young animals.
Did you know? Vechur - the smallest cows in the world. They are highly regarded in India and often become a welcome wedding gift to a young family.
The weight of an adult bull is up to 200 kg, and a heifer can gain up to 150 kg. Milk with a fat content of up to 5% is easily digested. The daily milk yield of these cows is up to 4 liters, which is an excellent indicator, taking into account their small mass.
A miniature version of the Scottish breed bred by breeders from Australia. Animals have a meat orientation and are distinguished by a muscular body with a growth of about 1 m. The color of the cow is black or brown.
The breed shows excellent meat performance based on the amount of feed consumed. Animals can reach a weight of 250-350 kg. Beef has "marble" veins and excellent taste. Milk production is up to 3 liters per day.
These animals of the milk direction have a height of up to 1 m and differ in sickle-shaped horns and a thin physique. With a small weight of the heifer, the daily milk yield is up to 6-7 liters of delicious milk.
Basic rules for breeding and keeping
In the Russian climate, representatives of some mini-breeds will require a special heated room, which can be comparable to a goat farm. In the southern regions there will be enough natural pasture, with an organized canopy and drinking bowls.
Unlike their large relatives, mini-cows do not trample grass and do not gnaw plants with roots, they are not interested in leaves on trees.
Important! Crossing of animals of dwarf breeds should be carried out only with the same small animals, since the appearance of a large calf can lead to the death of calving.
Most breeds are characterized by light calving and disease resistance.
Possessing good productivity in relation to the spent funds, miniature cows of some breeds have excellent prospects for Russian animal husbandry. In household conditions, such an animal does not require complicated care and can become a source of healthy milk and tasty meat.