Miniatures Measure Up!
Miniatures are measured from the hook of the hip to the ground measurements are taken at maturity (3 years of age) for permanent registration There are three classes of miniature cattle:
Mid-Size miniature are from 48 inches to 42 inches at the hip
Miniatures / Standards are from 42 inches to 36 inches at hip
Micro Miniatures are 36 inches and under at hip
Mature cows weigh from 450-850 pounds and Mature bulls range from 700-1100 pounds.
In general, a miniature cow is a third to half the size of the standard cow. I find that the 42- to 44-inch height is the most ideal for a family small-breed milk cow. Smaller cows may present logistical problems ( you might have to sit on the floor to milk them).
The average Irish Jersey weighs 25 to 45 pounds at birth, with some weighing even less. (For comparison Full size breeds weigh 55 to 100 pounds at birth).
With the help of our bull” Billy Bob” ( the first Almond and White Irish Jersey) we have been slowly changing the breeds coat color and have gone from mostly black to now having Dun, Red, Dark and light Brown w/ light points, Red Brindle, Brown Brindle, Brown and White and Black and White and the newest White with Black markings.
Easy Handling and Easy Care
Irish Jersey’s thrive in all climates. They do well outdoors all year with a three sided shelter and can be kept in a single wire electric fence enclosure. A small acreage owner can raise two or three per acre of good pasture. Irish Jersey’s eat about 1/3 of the hay and grain of their full size counterparts.
These small cattle are more even tempered and easier to handle, on pastures and on equipment.
There is no need for super strong fences and heavy equipment to handle them. We use a one strand electric fence on our pastures in spring, summer, and fall. In winter we have the cows in sheep fence (mainly because of the heavy snow).
The cows have a high fertility rate and drop calves in the field without difficulty. We do a lot of winter calving and cows will calf outside and bring the calves inside in the morning. The cows have a strong bond with the calves and will often accept a second calf.
There are many different breeds of miniatures. Most miniatures are bred for their beef qualities, a few breeds for milk, and then some for their small pet quality. The Irish Jersey is the best of all three, economically turning forage into rich milk and quality beef.
The Irish Jersey
The Irish Jersey is the only dual purpose mini giving high quality beef and an animal that will produce 1.5 to 4 gallons of rich milk per day. The Irish Jersey’s cream yields are up to one quart or more per gallon, with a butterfat content of 4.3 to 5.5 percent or more. Perfect for making butter, cheese and ice cream. The Irish Jerseys are great companion animals and do well keeping other farm animals company with out breaking the bank. They also make great lawn mowers.
Beef animals mature in 18 to 24 months with a high carcass yield of top quality lean meat at choice or better grade. They do all this on pasture feed, and have an average dressed weight at 50 to 60 percent.
Our Miniature cows cost between $1,500 to $3,500 depending on the size, markings and color. (A good standard Jersey sold as a family milk cow will cost $1,400 to $1,800 and a registered beef heifer from $1,200 to several thousand.) Although small-breed cattle may cost more initially, they have some interesting advantages.