Mini Cows Are Packed With Compact Cuteness

It’s Cow Appreciation Week, and we’d like to take this time to express our true gratitude for bitty bovine.

There are 26 breeds recognized by The International Miniature Cattle Breeders Society and Registry (IMCBS). These stocky cows and bulls, which have been bred down from their full-size cousins, are about 36 to 42 inches tall at maturity.

Miniature cows are thought to be a good size for small-acreage farms because they require only one-third of the feed. They’re also easier to handle and easier on the land, according to the IMCBS. 

The mini cows’ ancestors, who were brought to the United States from Europe in the 1800s, were much smaller than the full-size cows we see today. That’s because cattle were bred to be larger in the 1950s and ’60s, when farmers wanted more meat from them and weren’t as concerned about the cost of feed, according to a 2009 story in the Los Angeles Times.

So if you didn’t know cattle could be cute, allow us to introduce you to five adorable mini cow breeds in the gallery below.

Miniature Cow Breeds

Miniature Belted Galloway
Miniature Belted Galloway

The Belted Galloway originated in Scotland as early as the 17th century, according to minibeltie.org. These cows are black, dun and red, and have a double coat that helps them tolerate harsh weather.

Miniature Dexter Cattle

Mark Boulton / Alamy

Miniature Dexter

At just 40 inches, this docile cattle breed is one of the world’s smaller. It comes from Southern Ireland and is mostly black, although red and dun colored Dexters can sometimes be found, according to Oklahoma State University.

Miniature Highland Cattle

Thinkstock

Miniature Highland

The Highland has a long coat and horns, and is said to be similar in size to the cattle that originated in Scotland, according to Big Picture Agriculture. The hardy breed adapts well to mountains and colder weather.

Panda Miniature Cattle
Miniature Panda

Yes, the rare mini Panda looks like a cow version of the iconic Chinese bear. The first one, Precious (pictured here), was bred by accident in 2000, according to the IMCBS. Her father was 75 percent Irish Dexter and 25 percent Belted Galloway, and her mother was Happy Mountain Cattle breed. The mini Panda can sell for as much as $30,000.

Miniature Zebu

Erich Thielscher / Alamy

Miniature Zebu

This tropical breed handles the heat well, but these cows don’t enjoy the cold, according to the International Miniature Zebu Association. It may be one of the older cattle breeds, possibly dating back as far as 6000 B.C. They are slow to mature, so they’re older when they first start breeding.


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