Things to Consider Before Buying Miniature Cows
A miniature cow, also known as an ankole or dwarf zebu, is just what it sounds like – a small cow. These cattle, also called mini cows, are used mostly as pets or lawn ornaments because of their smaller size and docile nature. But to keep your miniature cow happy and healthy, you have to make sure you know what you’re getting into before bringing one home with you.
Before you go out and buy a miniature cow, there are a few things you need to consider. First of all, miniature cows are used mostly as pets or lawn ornaments, so if you’re looking for a farm animal that you can milk or slaughter for beef, this is not the right breed for you.
Secondly, miniature cows require a lot of space – at least one acre of pasture per cow – so if you don’t have enough land, they’re not going to be happy. And finally, miniature cows are social creatures and do best when they have another mini cow to keep them company, so you’ll need to buy at least two if you want them to be happy.
If you can provide a miniature cow with the space and companionship they need, then they make wonderful pets. But make sure you do your research first so that you know what to expect.
1) Do you have the space?
If you’re not an established farmer, it might not be worth buying miniature cows unless you have a lot of land.
They need exercise space and good pasture; failing to provide these things is a surefire way to end up with sickly animals.
If you have enough room, though, owning miniature cows will do wonders for your backyard. Not only are they cute, but they produce milk and beef (and manure), which can help turn your small farming operation into a viable business.
Also, remember that many cities have strict regulations when it comes to keeping farm animals on private property. Check with local officials before planning out your cow-filled future!
2) Are you prepared for vet bills?
Owning a cow means you are responsible for their health, safety, and happiness. Owning miniature cows means that even with good intentions, you can be easily sued if anything goes wrong.
While owning miniature cows is not inherently dangerous, there are some things to consider before purchasing any animals.
Even if they’re relatively small, they require your attention and care—and while these creatures aren’t full-sized cows, they still have nutritional needs and medical issues just like big cows do.
As cute as they are and as simple as keeping them may seem. You will also have to consider how many you’re prepared for.
You may be a good fit for one or two, but if you can’t take care of all of them yourself, where will they go? Do you want to purchase a miniature cow that doesn’t need as much work because it has an easier disposition?
If so, stick with darker-colored cows—they tend to be friendlier and calmer than light-colored ones.
3) How do you travel with them?
Most states have specific rules when it comes to traveling with livestock; make sure you know what they are.
First, be aware that not all states will allow miniature cows in a passenger vehicle. While it may seem like common sense, many people are caught off guard and end up in situations where their cows (and even miniature goats) need to be left behind.
Check with your local DMV or highway patrol before you travel with your miniature animals—as well as any hotels or campgrounds you plan on visiting along your route.
The last thing you want is for your cow(s) to get loose while you’re away from home! Make sure there’s plenty of room: You might also have space issues at home if they are full-sized cattle.
4) What will they eat?
The cost of caring for miniature cows (also known as pygmy or miniature cattle) can vary widely, depending on your location and whether you want your mini-cattle to roam outside.
If they are kept in an indoor facility, you’ll need a large supply of hay and grain. Like dairy cows, these miniature cattle will also need a steady source of clean water.
Overhead costs for grain, feed, and water can add up—especially if you plan on raising more than one cow! If that’s not doable for your budget, consider adopting two heifers (female calves).
By pairing them with a proven bull, you’ll be able to breed your herd—and then watch their offspring grow up!
5) How much space do they need indoors?
Mini cows are not just small versions of larger farm animals. On a standard dairy farm, cows need lots of room for exercise and housing.
On a miniature cow farm, you will probably only have a few miniature cows, so it’s important to plan your space accordingly.
Depending on their size, some miniature breeds don’t need as much space as regular-sized cows do; others will require significantly more.
Think carefully about how much space you have and what kind of tiny creatures you’ll be living with before deciding on which breed (or breeds) is right for you. And remember: Plan bigger than your budget allows!
6) Where are you going to get them from?
You may want to buy miniature cows from a breeder or online market. Be sure that you ask where they’re coming from and make sure you know what you’re getting into.
If you choose to buy them on Craigslist, for example, understand there are no guarantees about their health and that it will be your responsibility to figure out how healthy they are before making any big decisions regarding your farm.
You may also need permits or licenses depending on where you live so double-check with your local government offices before buying anything just in case.
This way, you can be sure that if something goes wrong, it won’t land on you unexpectedly.
7) Are you physically able to look after them?
Generally speaking, miniature cows are highly active and energetic creatures. They need an enormous amount of exercise each day to stay happy, healthy, and calm in their environment.
If you’re looking for a household pet that’s content lounging on your couch all day (or in your field all night), then miniature cows aren’t for you.
But if you can give them everything they need, these adorable critters will reward you with years of love and affection.
As with all animals, if you’re physically able to look after miniature cows they’ll bring a huge amount of joy into your life.
But miniature cows are also known for their intelligence and ability to understand human emotions. This means they form strong bonds with their owners, which will make it much harder for you to say goodbye when it comes time for them to move on.
8) Can you afford the cost involved in keeping them?
If you live in an apartment, you might not be able to keep miniature cows. If your landlord doesn’t allow them, then there is no sense in even thinking about having them.
So, make sure that you can afford everything that would be involved with keeping mini cows: a grazing area for your miniature cows, food for them, and any other costs involved with raising miniature cows.
Will your health insurance cover any expenses? One thing that is important to consider before buying miniature cows is whether or not your health insurance will cover any medical expenses should something happen to one of your mini cows.
9) Are there any other negatives you should know about before getting your miniature cows?
If you want miniature cows, you must be aware of some other negative aspects of owning these animals.
For example, they can’t be left unattended in your backyard. Even though they are not very big and can’t run or jump fences, they still get lonely if they don’t have any company from another animal or human.
They will try their best to escape their boundaries and find companionship with other animals on your property.
It may be difficult for you to keep them contained if there aren’t good fence options in place for your property.
Overall, miniature cows are a fantastic pet that many people choose to add to their family when seeking a fun addition to their home and farm.