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MINIATURE CATTLE AS PETS?
BY PROFESSOR RICHARD GRADWOHL
Of the 21 breeds of miniature cattle several have been developed for the pet market. There are the six markets for miniature cattle, the pet, breeder, mini milker, show, organic beef and commercial farm grown beef. Of these six markets the pet market is currently around 50%. Do people actually want a cow as a pet? You bet, and lots of people just love their pet bovine! The most popular pet of the miniature cattle breeds is the Kentshire®. We have some friends in California that their two Kentshire® cattle come right up on the patio and lay down to get brushed and stroked. They've sent us pictures of themselves having lunch with their Kentshires®. This may sound a little different but it's not that unusual. A pet is a pet whether its a dog, cat, bird, pot bellied pig, a snake or a pet cow.
What does a pet do for you? Its shows affection, does not talk back, gives you unconditional love, are great listeners, agree with everything you say and gives you all kinds of pleasure. Why not a bovine for a pet? Pets fill some real human needs. Indeed why not. My wife Arlene has had a pet cow for 20 years. Misty is her name and she was born on Thanksgiving Day and is a standard size Hereford. Miniature Herefords also make great pets.
The Miniature Kentshire® breed is usually a very docile affectionate animal. It's breeding is ½ Irish Dexter and ½ Miniature Hereford. Arlene has also had several pet Kentshires®; Sir Thomas and Jerry are her latest. The Belmont (Irish Jersey) is another pet type miniature bovine. They are ½ Miniature Irish Dexter and ½ Standard Jersey. They are great as a small mini milker and as a real family pet. The Belmont is an unusually good looking great animal.
All of our pet bovine seem to know their names - each one. They come when called. We can start out in the pasture and call one by her or his name and just that animal will come to us. It's really neat to just make pets out of these little friends. They love to be brushed with a curry comb. They will stand for hours when you talk to them and tell them how good they are.
ARLENE GRADWOHL WITH "MISTY" HER PET STANDARD SIZE HEREFORD COW
MISTY IS NOW 20 YEARS OLD AND HAS HAD MANY CALVES