Alternative Livestock Production: Miniature Cattle

Report
Alternative Livestock
Production:
Miniature Cattle
Adele Harty
Cow/Calf Field Specialist
Rapid City Regional Center
Introduction
• Miniature cattle vs. Conventional cattle
production on small acreages
– What is miniature?
– Requirements
– Benefits
– Challenges
• Miniature breed options
• Getting started
Miniature vs. Conventional
• What is miniature?
– Weight for bulls-900-1500 lbs
• (1800-2200 lbs for standard Angus)
– Height for bulls-40-48 inches at shoulder
• (59 inches for standard Angus)
– Weight for cows-650-1100 lbs
• (1250-1600 for standard Angus)
– Height for cows-36-46 inches at shoulder
• (56 inches for standard Angus)
Miniature vs. Conventional
• Requirements
– Basic necessities are the same, slightly
different scale
• Fencing
• Water
– May need to use a sheep tank
• Feed
• Medical/Veterinary
• Miscellaneous Supplies
Miniature vs. Conventional
• Benefits
– Less acres per animal
– Smaller size means less feed
– Increased numbers of livestock
– Less environmental impact
– Increased efficiency = less time to finish
Miniature vs. Conventional
• Benefits
– Larger ribeye area as a % of BW
– Meat portions are smaller
– Entire animal will fit in freezer
• 450 lbs vs 900 lbs
• More marketing alternatives
Miniature vs. Conventional
• Challenges
– Breeders market
• Sourcing animals
• Expensive
– Handling facilities/infrastructure
Miniature Cattle Breeds
• Miniature Herefords
– Full blood Herefords
– Extremely docile
– Less feed
– Less impact on the environment
– Shorter muscle length = more tender meat
• http://www.mhbaonline.org/
http://pjranchminicattle.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/8.jpg
Miniature Breeds
• Lowline Angus
– Developed in New South Wales, Australia
from a drawf free 100% Angus herd
– Not considered miniature, just small frame
• Average cow size-650-950 lbs, 36-42” at
shoulder
– Lower maintenance costs
Miniature Cattle Breeds
• Lowline Angus
– Easy calving
– Very feed efficient
– Excellent taste, texture and tenderness and
exceptional ribeye area per 100 lbs of body
weight = high yielding, high quality, high
value beef carcasses
• http://www.usa-lowline.org/
http://www.darngoodfarm.com/photos/lowline/cows-az_feb08.jpg
Miniature Cattle Breeds
• Dexter
– Originated in Ireland
– Likely came to US between 1905 and 1915
– Thrive in hot and cold climates
– Can be black, red or dun
• http://www.dextercattle.org/index.htm
• http://www.highpinesdexters.com/
Miniature Cattle Breeds
• Dexter
– Known for fertility and calving ease
– Dual purpose breed (meat and milk)
• Occasionally draft animals
– Beef animals mature in 18-24 months
– Can produce 1-3 gallons/day of milk with 45% butterfat
– Chondrodysplasia gene and PHA
http://www.highpinesdexters.com/breeding_philosophy.html
Getting Started
• Financing is available
– Local Ag Lender
– Contact local Farm Service Agency
• Must be used for meat production in order for
them to consider financing
• Local lender must turn you down
• Challenge
–
–
–
–
Weights
Average Daily Gain
How much product
Price
Getting Started
• Put together a Business Plan
– SDSU Extension can help
– Consider partners
• Evaluate various marketing options
– Marketing weaned calves
– Selling registered breeding stock
– Direct sale of finished animals
– Direct sale of beef
QUESTIONS?

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