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"Belfair" Miniature Cattle
"It's one of the first dual purpose miniature cattle breeds developed in the U.S.," says Robert Mock, Rochester, Wash., about the Bellfair miniature cattle that he owns and breeds.
Miniature Bellfair cattle were developed by Tracy Teed of Conway, Wash., using a mix of 50 percent Jersey and 50 percent Dexter. The cattle stand just 36 to 40 in. tall and have the overall appearance of a small Jersey. Mock says the cattle are ideal for small acre-age farmers who want a small family milk cow that can also produce a good-tasting beef calf.
"They have a great disposition, with no signs of aggression in the bulls," says Mock. "People like them for their milk which has a high butterfat content. The cows produce 2 to 3 gallons of milk per day which is just enough for many families. They don't need a lot of feed or barn space. Another advantage is that they adapt readily to being tethered, which saves small farmers the expense of fencing."
The cattle come in black, many different shades of brown, and occasionally pinto or splashed with white. Most calves have a bit of white on the tail tips or stars on the fore-head.
Cows calve easily and have good udder conformation for ease in milking, which Mock says is an advantage over other small dairy breeds. Bull calves beef up at an early age and bring premium prices at about 4 months of age.
Calves are sold either on the bottle or at weaning age of 2 1/2 to 3 months. "At this age they can be easily shipped by air in large plastic dog crates," notes Mock. Both sexes are horned. Calves may be purchased horned or dehorned.
According to Mock, bull calves are finding a market as steers for matched miniature oxen teams. "They're easy to match in size and color. Also, they're just about perfect for petting zoos."
The cattle have been accepted for registration with the Miniature Cattle Breeds Registry.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Robert Mock, Box 942, Rochester, Wash. 98579 (ph 360 273-7789).

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1998 - Volume #22, Issue #5