Miniature Zebu differ from other small cattle in that they are a
natural breed. They are not just bred to be tinier each generation,
nor are they the result of a breeding-gone-bad. Miniature Zebu
are a hearty, disease resistant breed of cattle. They are a
tropical breed that loves hot weather and will lie in full sun on
the hottest days of the year. They have functional sweat glands
that aid in cooling which makes them more heat tolerant. They
are resistant to flies due to their very active sub-dermal
(under the skin) twitching muscles. On windy or cold days they
prefer to spend their time inside a shelter. This breed has a long
life span, living 20 plus years with good care. Miniature cattle
are much easier on the land, pasture, fencing and equipment.
Five (5) acres can accommodate up to ten (10) Miniature Zebu.
Zebu are slow to mature. It seems the smaller the animal, the older
they are when they first breed.
normal for a heifer to give birth to her first calf at around 30 to
36 months of age.
newborn Miniature Zebu calf is extremely petite, almost fawn like.
Newborn calves are 16 to 18 inches tall and weigh 18 to 22 pounds.
Mature cows will weigh 300 to 400 pounds with the bulls ranging from
400 to 600 pounds. Although gray is the most common, colors range
from black, red, spotted or steel gray to almost pure white. In
mature bulls, the neck, shoulders and hump may be nearly black.
In the early 1990ís a group of enthusiasts met to establish the
Zebu Association whose registry would gather and maintain the
studbook of this breed. Under the registration guidelines, the
mature height cannot exceed 42 inches, but most Zebu breeders strive
to raise cattle in the 34Ē to 38Ē range. Aside from their
size, one of the distinguishing characteristics is a well-developed
hump, especially on the mature bull. Both bulls and cows have horns
of moderate size.
Generally, these animals are not a primary food-producing breed,
however, one advantage to raising Miniature Zebu cattle, is that you
are looking at a 600-pound animal and after butchering your yield
will be about 60%. Thatís 350 to 400 pounds of lean beef, just the
right amount to fill the family freezer. Miniature Zebu cattle
can make excellent milking cows. The normal Jersey or Holstein milk
cow can produce up to 5 gallons of milk per day, more than the
average family can use. Your mini-milker, a Zebu, will produce a
gallon of milk that is very high in butterfat and the quality of
milk cannot be beat.
Miniature Zebu cattle are also the ideal show cattle for the
younger 4H and FAA participants. They are small in size and easy to
handle. The Miniature Zebu is an excellent exhibition breed of
cattle. They cohabit well with other animals, they donít eat as
much as the large breeds, and are easier to handle and care for.