Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Bit About Miniature Cows
Well, I tried to find some photos that would clearly show the distinct differences in size between a miniature Jersey cow and a standard-sized Jersey ya go! :) This was the best I could find. (photos: courtesy of Google) 

Since January, we have learned so much about cows in general, and lately I've been learning more about mini cows. Our "Molly" is 1/2 standard-size (Mother who's name is "Ruxie") and 1/2 miniature Jersey (Father who's name is "Ziggy").
If you've missed our story of Molly, you can read it here.
Molly lived here at our house for 4 months, but a neighbor found out about her and called it in to the police. Our friends at the farm came to our aide and graciously offered to keep Molly for us until we move. We're so thankful and enjoy visiting her when we can.
Some of the benefits in owning a miniature cow are that they are very docile and well tempermented, easier to handle since they're smaller and don't weigh as much, they're easier on fences, they don't eat as much (which is HUGE on the pocketbook!) and if you decide to breed them, minis can go for up to $4,000! (Where a standard-size Jersey in milk is around $1,500.)
This past week, Molly came into heat (which I learned is typical of miniature heifers) and from what we understand, two standard-size bulls were following her around trying to mate with her. Now,  mind you, Molly is only 9 months old and can't be bred until April (putting her at 15 months). If she became pregnant at this age, she could die from giving birth. So, unfortunately we had to give her a vaccination to end the possible pregnancy (if she was indeed pregnant...we're not sure). 
This complicates things as each month, we have to keep track of her heat cycles and keep her away from the two other standard-size bulls at Jersey Acres. She'll need to be penned up for 3 days and kept away from any "boyfriends". :)
The good news is that I've found a pure-bred, miniature bull ("Beau") that we're going to be breeding Molly with in April, and he's not far from the farm. We definitely look forward to the breeding opportunities for Molly as I know minis are hard to find, especially in the south. When we were looking for a miniature cow years ago, I could only find marketed websites online where they were available up north. That was a bummer for us because we weren't about to load up the kiddos and drive 10+ hours up north for our  mini cow. Plus, they were very expensive!
I'm excited about Molly's future with our family. I'm sad that she isn't with us and still get teary sometimes when I see her collar hanging on our fence out back where her stall is. We really enjoyed bottle feeding her and watching her grow and become a family pet to us. I still miss how she would nudge me to pet her as I hung laundry outside. I still miss walking her around on her lead as she munched grass in our yard. I miss feeding her apples and watching as they kids raced her around the yard. She is such a sweetheart and I can't wait to have her back. In the meantime, we continue to learn about her breed and go to see her when we can.
Here's to missin' Molly! {tear}
Here are some intersting websites you can check out more about miniature cows...


Sheri Salatin said...

I have never actually seen a miniature Jersey. I grew up with regular sized Jersey cows and have quite a few fun stories from their antics. Love the picture of your Molly. She's so pretty!

Rachel E. said...

I look forward to hearing about your reunion with Molly, she is so beautiful. I considered using raw milk, but I guess I have a lot of fears concerning the bacterial risks. I am glad to know it works for you. Maybe someday I will get more courage, though I am not sure we have room for a cow! :)