Monday, May 25, 2009

Minicows!








In an effort to reduce space and feed needed to raise cows, some ranchers and farmers are now raising minicows. Minicows have smaller builds and much smaller appetites than their full-sized brethren.

Minicows generally weigh between 500-700 pounds, compared with 1,300 pounds or more for their full-sized counterparts. Miniature cows eat nearly half of what a normal-sized cows eat, yet they reportedly produce 50% to 75% of the meat of their larger-sized cousins. Minicows can be grass fed, which is much more economical than the feed that must be purchased for regular-sized cows. Minicows also reach their mature weight faster, so they could be sold for meat sooner.

Some consider minicows to be the "green" red meat, as they cause less wear and tear on the land.

Minicows are not genetically engineered to be tiny, and they're not dwarfs. They are drawn from original breeds brought to the U.S. from Europe in the 1800's that were smaller than today's bovine giants.

The big cows we are accustomed to seeing emerged in the 1950's-60's, when farmers were focused on getting more meat and didn't worry about efficient land and feed usage. As land and feed prices continue to rise and modern farmers strive for more efficiency, some are considering switching to minicows.

There are about 20,000 minicows in existence today, but the animals represent a minor portion of the 94.5 million head of cattle in the U.S. this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The minicow trend seems to be on the upswing, particularly for people running smaller farms and for those trying to run more efficient and green ways of raising cattle.

For more on this topic, click here.

54 comments:

Savvy Mode SG said...

OMG mini cows are sooo cute.

Improbable Joe said...

I'm going to need a bigger bun...

Jake Hammell said...

They may be small, but definitely aren't pets.
The old farmer in me has concerns about herd safety. They'd be more prone to predators like coyotes and wolves, especially calves.

Oh well, steaks are steaks. I heard the meat tastes better. I'd love to try it!

Amy said...

Those are so cute!!! I totally want one - you think they would get along with chihuahuas?

sexypoet said...

that white one in the first photo is so damn adorable.. to bad they use them for meat although i loves me a big honkin steak or burger..

alissa said...

i didnt know there was such a thing!i think id like to have a mini-farm. with like miniature horses and those really tiny goats. good to know ill have a cow too.
i just need a minichicken.

Pyzahn said...

Ugh. I'm calling P.E.T.A. If the animals ever get fed up with human shenanigans, we're in trouble.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

This is a new one on me and I live in cow country! Sounds like a more humane way of raising them too...no gawd awful feedlots that smell to high heavens!

Missy said...

I wondered how they made the mini burgers! LOL

Kirsty said...

So cute! But I always worry about animals like this which are so artificially bred. Being a zoologist... if nature can't support them, that's why they don't naturally exist? Humans taking nature into their own hands SCARES me.

Diane said...

the cuter the yummier, i always say!

Diana said...

these are really cute, but i can't believe they were considered giants at one point!

the song, mini sirloin burgers, pops in my mind!

clorivak said...

awwww...they are awfully cute. I've always thought cows were cute,even the 1300 pound variety. Its not fun to get kicked by them though.
Those first two are pukably sweet..i loove the fluffy look.

breeding is def a touchy subject, but if there weren't for breeding i guess there wouldn't be so many varieties of cats and dogs,etc...I love all the differences they have. But the mutts are def the stable ones of the bunch.

i want a minicow,as well as a skunk,fox etc etc..;P

Awesome Sara said...

i feel like a jerk for eating cows. i need a mojito cupcake. oh! you've never had a mojito??? its so yummy!!! when you order it make sure its bicardi bc thats the closet to cuban rum. i live in fl mojitos are like its own food group here. its rum and setlzer water with crushed lime cane sugar and mint at the bottom to cut the taste of the rum. its a tropical drink.

Kitten said...

Cute!!

Elizabeth Marie said...

A. now when I see the jack commercial I will always think of you.

B.One of my crushes on that show Rob and Big have a mini horse. I think I should get a mini cow and strut by their house in the hollywood hills. If I get arrested, will you bail me out? Or can you at least be my phone call?

one little simitopian said...

Awwwwwww they are too cute! I so can't eat cows at the best of times, so these are breaking me!
But people eat meat, wether I like it or not....so, interesting article! Some interesting comments too; Kirstys comment is thought provoking, and Awesome Sara: I want a mojito cupcake!!!!!

K.Line said...

I've never heard of this! Genius. THey are beyond adorable and better for the planet.

down and out chic said...

very cute and now i want to become a vegetarian again (for like the 15th time)

woolyninja said...

The brown haired cow in the first picture looks like Teen Wolf!

Magic Pants Jones said...

They're almost as cute as donks!

K @ Blog Goggles said...

No way. I need to get me some minicows. And a farm.

♥ fashion chalet said...

this kid seems taken with me at my closest Starbucks always offers me larger sizes of the sample and free coffee coupons, lol so I keep the extra cups for fun. :) thanks for the comment.



x

Char said...

plus they are just so freaking adorable

Lynn said...

Sorry.
Waaay too cute to EAT!!!!
Lynn

diane said...

They are cute and creepy at the same time.

Raina said...

But the most important question was overlooked - Can they be house-trained?

trishiekoh said...

oh my, they're so cute, i don't know if i want to eat them!

Anyway, I gave you an award: http://trishiekoh.blogspot.com/2009/05/mailman-brought-me-lovely-things.html

esther said...

i'm a sucker for pretty much anything miniature, so naturally i'm swooning over here.

thereddeer said...

I want one!! Soooo cute!

Underfunded Heiress said...

That's interesting. I didn't know that about mini cows. I like how its better for the environment but still makes me sad to look at these cuties knowing where they'll end up.

TheBeautyFile said...

I'm really not sure how to react to this. Should I be happy that we can produce more of these cute guys or sad to know they're gonna eventually be killed for me to eat that steak every couple of months...??

TORN, I tell you, just TORN I am!

awakeningmoon said...

Those mini cows sure are cute, I must admit I would be a little scared to look a giant bovine cow in the eye BUT something tells me I could stare at the little guys are day long!!

LipstickOne said...

interesting...

tanya said...

what a great informational post...also, another tidbit, minicows are so freakin' cute!!! :-)

Chris said...

Adorable! I want one for our yard :)

Milly said...

soooooo cute, wish i could have one lol

ambika said...

I wouldn't mind just having one to maintain the yard. Hey, they do it with goats.

...love Maegan said...

have you seen the mini cow McDonald's commercial with the mini-human too? ....HILARIOUS!! I die every damn time it's on.

{and by mini-human, I mean midget}

Hanako66 said...

they are so cute!

not quite schnauzer size though

TERI REES WANG said...

So, is this how Jack got the idea for his mini sirloin burgers..?!

Can we say: "Portion control"..?

Carlotta said...

OMG I need one now!!when I was a kid my wildest dream was to own a cow a pig ( Istill want one!) a khoala and a tiger..I want the minicow!!

Pretty Little World said...

I don't eat meat, but if I could have two or three of these as pets, I would be sooooo happy!

erin@designcrisis said...

Gross, I hate cows and their nasty meat, but those little guys and gals are CUTE!

The Cottage Cheese said...

Oh, they are just too cute to eat. Can I keep a couple for pets?

.38 said...

SO CUTE! I desperately want to farm them.

Girl Japan said...

They are adorable.. how could I eat you--- I feel so BAD that I like hamburgers.... now you have me wondering when the first COW meat arrived, started.. yadda, yadda

karly / design crisis said...

I'm confused, they take up half the space, eat half the food, but also produce half the meat... so you theoretically would need to own twice as many. Other than the obv insane cute factor, what's the benefit of these precious little angels?

Dan W Johnson said...

Where do you come up with this stuff? I saw something on mini-cows the other day and thought it may have been some kind of a joke. Sure are cute.

sallymandy said...

I'm sorry. Those little dudes are too cute to eat.

Posh Adornment said...

I could not eat these adorble cows. But then I can't eat the big ones either when they are staring me in the face.

Mansion Rentals Miami Beach said...

So cute. They look more like pets than future burgers.

graphics tablet said...

They are very cute but is it actually healthy to play with genetics like this? And how are they going to manage if even bigger cows may be attacked by wolves and coyotes.

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