Directory of Homestead & Miniature Breeds of Cattle
More Homestead Breeds of Cattle are coming this year
Pure breeds of Homestead & Miniature Cattle
Percentage or Composite breeds of Homestead & Miniature Cattle
  1. Miniature Angus (Lowline) (FB)
  2. Miniature Belted Galloway (FB)
  3. Miniature British White (FB)
  4. Irish Dexter (FB)
  5. Miniature Galloway (FB)
  6. Miniature Hereford (FB)
  7. Miniature Scottish Highland (FB)
  8. Miniature & Midsize Jersey (FB & PB)
  9. Miniature Riggit Galloway
  10. Miniature Native Shorthorn
  11. Square Meater
  12. Miniature Texas Longhorn
  13. Miniature White Galloway
  14. Miniature Zebu
  1. Miniature Baldie
  2. Miniature Beefalo
  3. Miniature Beefmaster
  4. Miniature Belted Galloway
  5. Miniature Braford
  6. Miniature Brahman
  7. Miniature Brangus
  8. Miniature Bucking Bulls
  9. Miniature Highland
  10. Miniature Holstein
  11. Miniature Santa Gertrudis
  12. Miniature Toy Sundog
  13. Miniature Watusi
  14. Miniature Western Heritage Cattle
  15. Miniature white park composites

    Purity of cattle breeds may be referred to with the following terms:

  • composite breed cattle: 25% -- 49.99% blood percentage
  • percentage breed cattle: 50% -- 87.499% blood percentage
  • purebred breed cattle: 87.5% -- 99.99% blood percentage
  • fullblood breed cattle: 100% blood percentage

    This is a guideline ...
    Sometimes these terms are used differently in different registries.

Pure Breeds of Miniature Cattle

miniature Angus (FS 0 - 0000)
AKA: Lowline, American Aberdeen Angus (AAA), Ausline, Loala
Miniature Angus were first marketed as Loala some years back, but that term didn't really catch on. They are sometimes referred to as Ausline in Australia.
Breed Description: The smallest Frame Score (0 and shorter) Lowlines are literally miniature (old heritage bloodline) Angus. The term "miniature" refers to the frame score (FS) height of cattle more often than their breed. Miniature Angus (the smallest Lowlines) are usually bred by miniature cattle breeders on small acreages. The larger Lowlines are more typical of the breed, and are classic sized cattle that range in frame scores from 1-3. The Lowline was re-branded as American Aberdeen Angus (AAA) cattle in 2017. These are not miniature cattle, but are beef production animals commonly used in commercial feedlots and grassfed operations. Only a small (pardon the pun) percentage of Lowline cattle are literally miniature Angus cattle.

miniature Angus

Australian Lowline Cattle of America (ALCOA) is a promotional group of the Australian Lowline Cattle Association (ALCA).


miniature Belted Galloway (unhybridized)
Breed Description: A fullblood breed (100%). The Miniature Belted Galloway is not recognized or distinguished separately by its frame score in the main Belted Galloway herdbook. The miniatures are selected for frame scores below 1 and recognized as miniatures only by their breeders and owners. In North America, pure miniature Belted Galloways are rare.

US Belted Galloway Society was incorporated in 1964 in Tennessee as the herdbook for Belted Galloway in North America. Sister organization to the American Galloway Breeders Association. Registry work is carried out by Canadian Livestock Records Corporation (CLRC) on a contract basis. All pedigree records are archived for the Belted Galloway Society at the CLRC. Registered Belted Galloways can be traced back to the 1850s to authenticate their purity.
miniature purebred Galloway
Miniature Belted Galloway Cattle (MiniBeltie.org)
was formed to provide information, education and resources for those interested in learning more about this heritage breed of cattle.
B miniature British White (fullblood)
Breed Description: British White cows produce steers that marble well on grass. British White cattle are polled. White Park cattle are horned. They share some history together, and have shared registries together, but are presented as separate breeds by their respective registries. White park patterned cattle descend from the British Isles dating back thousands of years.They have characteristic "white park" markings (white or lightly flecked body with black or red pigment points; ears, muzzle, eyeliner, feet and sometimes more speckling on legs or sides). Most British White cattle are classic or standard size cattle, but a few purebred British White cattle do qualify as miniature.
British White Cattle Association of America (BWCAA)
American British White Park Cattle Association (ABWPA)
miniature fullblood British White or White Park cattle

Irish Dexter
Breed Description: old heritage breed
Breed chondro status: carrier origin breed
(Dexter is source breed of BD1, and
source of BD2 in NZ & AU)
Breed Description: If you are looking for a dual (or triple) purpose heritage livestock breed, the Irish Dexters are the perfect old-fashioned family cow. Dexter catte are small and hardy. They are used for beef, dairy, and steers can be used as oxen to pull carts. Dexters were once called the Irish Peasant cow as it was small and easy to keep. They are perfect homestead and hobby farm cattle for small acreages. Dexters thrive in hot and cold climates, and do well year round with just grass, fresh water and a windbreak for shelter.
Breed History: Dexters are small mountain cattle originally from the Celtic cattle of ancient Ireland. Dexters arrived in America when more than 200 were imported to the US between 1905 and 1915. Most Dexters in North America are bred for beef and not milked. There are milking lines available but you have to search for them.
Breed Traits: Black or red, and a dun dilution. Pure heirloom bloodlines have white horns with black tips. Polled Dexters appeared more recently in history.

heritage Dexter

G miniature solid Galloway (unhybridized)
Breed Description: The miniature Galloway is not recognized or distinguished separately by its frame score in main Galloway herdbooks. Miniatures are recognized only by their breeders who select for frame scores below 1. In North America, pure miniature Galloways are rare.
Breed Traits: The oldest known polled breed (the Celtic mutation). It has a double coat (with only Highlands and Bison sharing that trait). It is hardy, efficient, fertile, long lived, docile, and a browser with strong grass-fed genetics.

miniature purebred Galloway
H miniature Hereford
Breed Description: The Hereford comes in both horned and polled cattle and ranges widely in frame score size. The American Hereford Association accepts them in the main registry. Miniature Herefords are dwarf-free fullblood Hereford cattle mostly from old heritage bloodlines when cattle were smaller. Mini Herefords range in frame scores from 0 to 0000. Miniature Herefords average from 42-45 inches in height and weigh between 600 and 1000 lbs. The average weight of a newborn mini Hereford calf is 35 to 60 pounds. The national average weaning ratio is 35 to 40 percent of the dam's weight. Miniature Herefords can wean a 65 percent weaning ratio. The average rib eye area is usually one square-inch per 100 pounds of live body weight, while Miniature Herefords average a 1.5-inch rib eye per 100 pounds of live body weight. Herefords are naturally docile and make excellent show animals for any level of competition. They are early-maturing, excellent feed converters and easy keepers. They are hardy and adaptable to various environments. They reside in more than 30 states, Canada, Australia and many other countries.
Breed History: Hereford cattle originated in Herefordshire, England. In 1969, a breeding program was initiated to preserve the old heritage type Hereford and kept small in the 1970s by the Largent family of Point of Rocks Ranch, Ft. Davis, TX. The Largents' goal was three-fold: real profitability resulting from fertility, conformation and a small cow with the genetics to wean a calf weighing at > 50% of her own weight; a cow that will simply produce more beef / acre.

miniature Hereford bull
photo credit: "Truk," Hat City Cattle Company

H miniature Scottish Highland Cattle (unhybridized)
Breed Description: Scotch Highland cattle are a hardy browsing breed from a harsh native environment, the Highlands of Scotland. Developing in vastly different environmental conditions led to a wide range of sizes found within this breed. They have a long double coat of hair, (their oily outer coat can grow up to 13 inches) allowing this breed to thrive in harsh northern climates. Mothering instinct is highly developed in the Highland cow. Abandoned calves, even for first-calf heifers, are rare. This strong protective inclination of the cow minimizes predator losses that can even extend to sheep that are pastured in the same field. The Highland cow has a long productive life and many herds average 12 calves from each cow. Their milk has a very high butterfat content (10%). Their meat is very high quality raised on grass programs, and is growing in popularity, as it is lower in cholesterol than many other breeds of beef. The miniature size is found among fullblood herds of small frame Scottish Highland cattle, and kept pure by a few breeders.
American Highland Cattle Association (AHCA) 1948
The Canadian Highland Cattle Society (CHCS) 1964

J miniature & midsize Jersey
AKA: Old World Jerseys
Breed Description #1: The fullblood Miniature (100%) Jersey, unhybridized, is rare, but a few exist. These rare cows measure below 44" over the hip at 3 years of age, and have a pure Jersey pedigree registered by the standard American Jersey Cattle Association. AJCA does not protect purity in the Jersey breed, and allows hybrid animals to upgrade into its main herdbook after 6 generations. Therefore, if heritage preservation of 100% fullblood animals were anyone's focus, they would need to do more pedigree research to rule out other breeds in the background past its 6th generation.
Breed Description #2: The American Miniature Jersey is a small purebred breed that has been developed for years in North America, and nowhere else. Although records of crossbreeding and pedigrees were not kept over the decades, longtime breeders and verbal history provides plenty of testimony that most of today's American Miniature Jerseys were created over many years by crossing small and midsize Jerseys with smaller miniature cattle of other breeds to reduce their height. But it has been established long enough that most owners & breeders consider it a pure breed of its own now. Using the CDCB's BBR DNA test for standard dairy breeds, which includes the Jersey, some breeders use this DNA test to help determine their American Miniature Jersey's purity. CDCB decided that any purity score > 94% is reported as 100% Jersey. When BBR testing any cattle, let alone miniatures, this does not prove the little Jersey that scores 100% is a fullblood, but does indicate that it is a purebred Jersey. Anything < 90% is a strong indication of crossbreeding. Regardless of anyone's personal definition of purity, the American Miniature Jersey can make a perfect and beautiful small homestead cow. The temperament has been rigorously selected for (especially the bulls) and today's Miniature Jersey cows and bulls are both calm and gentle.

Jersey Island circa 1880
Jersey Island 1880

Fun Fact: The black coat color in many Jersey bulls is caused by a sex-linked gene influenced by testosterone. Jersey bulls are not genetically black. Their fawn "saddle" or striped area down their back will show their true (genetic) color. (I just read a reference to this somewhere that claimed this is not true... anyone know for sure? Any research papers on it we could check? Thanks!)

Standard Jerseys do best in temperate climates. With their finer bone, they can require extra shelter and care in northern zones. Mini and midsize Jerseys are typically shorter-legged and heavier boned for their size, and handle cold weather more successfully.
R  miniature Riggit Galloway (pure Galloway)
AKA: color-sided Galloways (GCS)
Breed Description: The few fullblood miniature Riggit Galloways in North America are rare. The original Riggit (white lineback type) pattern was nearly lost to obscurity for a while, but occasionally re-appears among (over-marked) White Galloways. In the UK, their country of origin, the Riggit Galloway is now an ongoing conservation project, restoring the near extinct color pattern from purebred White Galloway. GCS Galloways are accepted by the Canadian Galloway registry, and are included in their White Galloway division. Riggit Galloways are not recognized by the American Galloway Registry, however and are not eligible under current rules, regardless of their genetic purity. Fullblood Riggit Galloways of all frame score heights, of any color or pattern, are welcome in the Homestead Cattle Association, which is where some may go if the current mainstream registries further enforce current restrictions. A pure Galloway initiative is working to preserve old unique genetics and unrecognized patterns or colors. Purity will be certified with DNA tested when in doubt. If you are interested in the preservation of these regal rare cattle, contact Kathryn Engel.
S miniature Shorthorn (unhybridized)
AKA: Native, Heritage, Durham, Milking
Breed traits: Shorthorns are red, white or speckled and/or roan in color. There are several distinct though closely related strains of Shorthorn, including dual-purpose, Milking Shorthorn and Native Beef Shorthorn. They come in a wide range of frame scores. The wide genetic base results in differing maturity patterns, enabling producers to select the Shorthorn type best suited to their environment and market. All have high fertility, good mothering ability, and a docile temperament. They finish readily on good quality pastures and are noted for their good marbling characteristics when finished on grain. Native Shorthorns are sustainable and efficient on grass and wintering on hay. Native lines provide valuable genetics for low-input grass based operations--they are fertile animals that remain productive for many years, fleshy, with large rumen capacity for forages. Native Shorthorn are usually FS 1-5, while the miniatures will be Shorthorns found with FSs of 0 or lower.
Breed history: The Shorthorn originated in Durham County area of the northeastern coast of England in the 1700s. They developed from superior short-horned cattle known to have existed in the area since the 1500s. In the middle 1800s, Scottish breeders selected animals that had increased compactness, thickness and the ability to mature and fatten at an early age. North America's Native Shorthorn ancestry traces back to the 1822 Coates Herd Book or the 1830 Clay Importation. Polled genetics were introduced in North America in the 1800s.
miniature Native Shorthorn bull JB
  • American Shorthorn Association (ASA)
  • American Milking Shorthorn Society (AMSS)
    uses an "N" designation for Native status.
  • Heritage Shorthorn Society (HSS) was formed to support preservation, production, and promotion of rare fullblood (heritage or native) Shorthorn cattle. The opportunities that exist with heritage Shorthorns, epecially for the small producer, are boundless. Heritage Shorthorns are listed on the “Critically Endangered” list by the Livestock Conservancy.
S Square Meater
AKA miniature Murray Grey, or Mini Greys
Breed Description: Breeders are predominantly in Australia and New Zealand but there are Square Meaters in the USA. Square Meaters are small framed Australian Murray Grey cattle recognized as a separate breed with its own herdbook since 1996. Square Meaters were developed by selecting high performing, early maturing, small frame Murray Grey cattle. These short compact cattle are often not quite miniature, but close, and ideal for smaller acreage. Square Meaters are polled, and have a quiet disposition. They are easy to handle, easy on fences and quiet in corrals. They have high fertility, low birth weights and good mothering & milking ability. Females can produce their first calf at 2 years of age and go on to produce a calf every year. Cows should wean calves over 50% of her BW. Square Meaters are thick-muscled, deep-bodied cattle on short legs, developed to produce a finished carcass with even fat cover in 12 months. Squares have good “doing ability” even in poor conditions. With their compact size they hold their condition longer when times get tough and larger breed females start to fade. Square Meaters are recognized for their beautiful solid colors, which range from silver, grey, dark grey, brown to a dark chocolate color, with their characteristic coat sheen (which could indicate a satin-type gene that would help deflect sun in hot climates). The skin is dark pigment, which provides additional protection from sunburn and skin cancer. While Square Meaters are a measured breed in Australia, and range between FS 1-4, some may be smaller in N.A.
Breed history: Rick Pisaturo of Mandalong Stud, Australia, determined in the early 1990s that a market existed for a specific type of beef animal: fast growing, well muscled and very importantly, early maturing. To do this, he used Murray Grey bulls from the pre-1970s; bulls that were much smaller in frame, yet sired progeny that dominated carcass competitions throughout Australia. Square Meaters are not small miniatures or "the result of a dink gene." They are cattle the same size as they were in the 1950's. Note: Mr. Rick Pisaturo bred Thologolong Michael, one of the most significant Murray Grey bulls in the history of the breed, and, Mandalong Super Flag, which was probably the most influential Shorthorn bull to ever enter NA from Australia.
representing miniature purebred mini greys, or Square Meaters - Nada

American Murray Grey Association (AMGA), Pennsylvania, offers the Square Meater (SM) endorsement for breeders who apply and whose cattle meet the SM guidelines - Dave Moeller, Indiana, is the leader of this group of American Square Meater breeders. "Square" breeders proved to the American Murray Grey Ass'n that the ancestry of the Squares in this country all trace to registered Murrays in Australia, so they accept these animals as purebreds.

Murray Grey International Association
(MGIA), Illinois

Square Meaters Association
Murray Grey Society (Australia)
Murray Grey Beef Cattle Society (UK)


miniature Texas Longhorn (unhybridized)
Breed Description: The miniature Texas Longhorn is a fullblood, registered Texas Longhorn that have been downsized by selectively breeding smaller Texas Longhorns over time. Purebred miniatures will still be registered by the Texas Longhorn Cattlemens Registry. The height limit for registered miniature Longhorn cattle is 45" for cows and 48" for bulls (measured at the hip when 3 years old). The Texas Longhorn originated in the United States, and shares history with Florida Cracker and Pineywoods cattle. They come in all colors. They about went extinct when the British breeds entered and took over American beef herds. Longhorns are known for low birth weights, as calving ease sires for heifers, and for their overall fertility, hardiness & longevity.

Registry: Texas Longhorn Cattlemens Registry
photo credit: IM Ranch miniature Texas Longhorn bull

miniature fullblood Texas Longhorn bull - IM Ranch

miniature White Galloway (unhybridized)
Breed Description: the miniature White Galloway has all the breed traits of the other Galloways. The white Galloways are as old as the solid Galloways; in the beginning they were the same cattle. Today they are separate breeds. There are not many purebred miniature White Galloways in North America. There are more miniature White Galloway breeding programs in Australia and New Zealand, however upgrading (crossbreeding) their miniatures is allowed in some of their registries.

miniature purebred White Galloway

miniature White Park cattle (unhybridized)
The term white park can refer to a genetic color pattern (carried by White Galloway, British Whites, White Parks, and a few more breeds), or, it can refer to this breed specifically.
Breed Description: Most White Park cattle (whether they are called British White cattle or whether they are called White Park cattle) fall in the typical heritage breed FS range, although there are occasionally a few that can qualify as miniature. As for purity and registration, basically, this is one single pure old breed, that has been separated into separate herdbooks, to follow divergent goals--such as--what to call them, how big they should be, how beefy they should be, how to market them, and whether to accept polled or horned individuals (which have both existed side by side for generations). As a result of these kind of latter day squabbles, there is built-in confusion about this breed's history, and you will see opposing claims. It is important to remember they were all Park Cattle until the 1940s, and they were all in same herd book in England. Genetically, there is no difference in USA between ABWPA and BWCAA cattle.

  • British White Cattle Association of America (BWCAA)
  • American British White Park Cattle Association (ABWPA)
Z miniature Zebu
AKA: "Nadudana" in Australia (pronounced Nar-Dar-Nah) which is Hindi for "small cattle."
Breed Traits: Mature cows weigh 300 to 500 lbs, and mature bulls weigh 400 to 600 lbs. Newborn calves can be as small as 15-22 lbs and 16-18 inches tall. Most Zebu breeds (like the Brahman) have long drooping ears, but the miniature Zebu does not. They are predominantly colored gray, but can also be white, red, black, brindle or spotted. They are slow-maturing and have an average lifespan of 18 to 21 years. When hand-raised they are quite docile and friendly, and make excellent little cattle for children. Zebu (and miniature Longhorn) cross bulls are often used as youth bucking bulls, in Little Britches Youth Rodeos. When used for beef, they can yield anywhere from 40-60% lean meat. Mini Zebu beef is not typically as tender, marbled or as flavorful as grass fed beef produced by miniature taurine beef breeds. For dairy production, they can produce up to a gallon of A2 milk /day that is high (5-6%) in butterfat. The population of American miniature Zebu is growing, and is mostly in the south.
Breed Origin: Interestingly, there are several breeds of miniature indicine breeds of cattle in India; the actual cattle population that miniatue Zebu of America came from is thought to possibly be extinct. At the time of this writing, it is not clear which miniature breed(s) our mini Zebu came from.
About Zebu Breeds: There is a difference between "miniature Zebu" and "Zebu": which is the common name used for all Bos taurus indicus, or indicine breeds of cattle, AKA tropical cattle or humped cattle. There are some 60-75 breeds of Zebu cattle in the world, that originate from southern India as far back as 6000 B.C. "Zebu" may be used as either singular or plural; "Zebus" is also an acceptable plural form. Zebu cattle have loose dewlaps, thick hides and panniculus muscles (used in twitching) over the entire body to fend off biting flies. They have fine, short glossy hair that reflects hot sunlight and more fully functional sweat glands over their entire body than taurine breeds. Zebus have natural high resistance to pests, flies, ticks, disease, and bloat. They require less "chemical care" (pesticides) and thrive in heat and humidity. On the other hand, Zebus are not recommended for northern climates.

miniature Zebu bull - owned by Phil Vollmer

International Miniature Zebu Association (IMZA), The International Miniature Zebu Association is the oldest (established 1991) and largest registry of miniature zebu cattle. Crawford, NE Phone: 308-665-1431.
American Miniature Zebu Association (AMZA)

Breed History: In 1893, several miniature Zebu cattle were seen at the Chicago World’s Fair. Miniature Zebu were also imported to America in the 1920s as an oddity for display in USA's zoos and zoological gardens. Some also went to Brazil and Africa over the years. Being such excellent little tropical type cattle, miniature Zebu were exported from America to Australia in 1995, and to New Zealand in 2009. The most recent reports indicate there are approximately 2000 registered pure miniature Zebu in the United States.


Pure breeds of Miniature Cattle
Percentage or Composite breeds of Miniature Cattle
  1. Miniature Angus (Lowline)
  2. Miniature Belted Galloway
  3. Miniature British White little Dexter cow
  4. Irish Dexter

  5. Miniature Galloway
  6. Miniature Hereford
  7. Miniature Scottish Highland
  8. Miniature Jersey
  9. Miniature Riggit Galloway
  10. Miniature Native Shorthorn
  11. Square Meater
  12. Miniature Texas Longhorn
  13. Miniature White Galloway
  14. Miniature Zebu
  1. Miniature Baldie
  2. Miniature Beefalo
  3. Miniature Beefmaster
  4. Miniature Belted Galloway
  5. Miniature Braford
  6. Miniature Brahman
  7. Miniature Brangus
  8. Miniature Bucking Bulls
  9. Miniature Highland
  10. Miniature Holstein
  11. Miniature Jersey cattle
  12. Miniature Santa Gertrudis
  13. Toy Sundog
  14. Miniature Watusi
  15. Miniature Western Heritage Cattle
  16. Miniature white park color composites


Breeds of Miniature Cattle

miniature Baldie
AKA: black or red whiteface (BWF, RWF),
AKA: black or red brockle-face (BBF, RBF)
Breed Description: This is the pattern seen in fullblood miniature Hereford F1 crossbreds. The miniature Baldie is the result of a miniature Hereford X with (usually) a Lowline or a Dexterbrockle face calf, however any fullblood Hereford parent should produce a whiteface (baldie) calf no matter what breed it is crossed with. With bright white faces, pigment over the eyes is desirable to help ward off pinkeye and cancer-eye. Hereford F2 cattle will then often have spotted white faces called brockle-face calves.
black baldie calf
miniature Beefalo
AKA: miniature Bison hybrid
Breed Chondro Status: chondro-free
Breed Description: A composite (fertile hybrid), the Beefalo was developed in the United States during the early 1970's. The Beefalo is 3/8 (37.5%) bison and 5/8th domestic cattle, and must be at least 17% bison to be classified as Beefalo. Animals over 3/8 bison are classified as Bison Hybrids. The Beefalo can vary greatly in appearance but is generally well muscled and often similar in stature to the bison. Many Beefalo have the unique double coat of the bison, making it hardy in both extreme cold and extreme heat. They are very docile in nature. Beefalo can finish with 40 percent less cost input than conventional beef cattle. The USDA regulates & restricts anyone from selling or advertising their meat as Beefalo beef without prior approval & registration with the American Beefalo Association (ABA).
miniauture beefalo: Darla, 1st heifer calf - Billy R Carpenter
(there are only a couple miniature Bison hybrids in N.A.)
miniature Beefmaster
AKA miniature MeatMaster
Breed Chondro Status: chondro-free
Breed Description: miniature composite
Can be polled or horned. Mini Beefmaster breeding programs are in development now for this chondro-free beef composite, blending the best traits of miniature Hereford, miniature Shorthorn and miniature Zebu cattle. It will be a few years until there are enough mini MeatMasters to annouce to the public. This composite is a miniature version of the standard Beefmaster breed which is 1/2 Brahman, 1/4 Shorthorn & 1/4 Hereford.
miniature MeatMaster cow

miniature Belted Galloway (percentage)

Breed Chondro status: *carrier breeds
Breed Description: Various belted composites or percentage cattle. Most registered miniature Belted Galloways in North America are percentage cattle that descend from original miniaturized cattle from using dwarf Dexter or other miniature cattle. Some are quite small and can make excellent pets as well as colorful & hardy little homestead cattle with friendly, quiet dispositions.

mini Beltie composite
miniature Braford

AKA: mini Zeford
Breed Chondro status: chondro-free
Breed Description: This miniature composite is a small version of the standard Braford. The developing miniature Braford will be approximately 3/8 miniature Zebu and 5/8 miniature Hereford. It is still in development, and it may be a few more years before breeders of miniature Braford start announcing. The standard Braford is an American composite breed that was developed in 1947 by Alto Adams Jr. on his Florida ranch to produce beef cattle that would flourish in southern climates. They are approximately 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Hereford.
a miniature Braford type heifer
mini Braford type heifer owned by Courtney Preston
miniature Brahman
Breed Description: Currently not a breed.
Included in this list for 2 reasons:
1) There is or was a herd of proportional dwarf Brahman in Brooksville, Florida that are 30% smaller than the breed average. Their particular dwarf mutation was identified in 2012, and was being documented at the University of Florida. I am not aware of any health conditions that result from this mutation. I am not certain whether this herd still exists.
2) One occasionally does run across miniature Zebu type animals with longer droopy ears like the Brahman. There are a few breeders who are currently working on a future miniature Brahman reproduction composite breed (names to be announced).
Brahman History: The Brahman is a uniquely American breed. Between 1854 and 1926 four Zebu cattle breeds from India (Ongole, Krishna, Gir and Gujarat) were imported to the USA. The Brahman developed in the US in the early 1900s from those tropical-hardy breeds, with a bit of local American British beef breed influence. Not surprisingly, polled Brahman (at least in a few tested animals) showed the Celtic polled (Pc) mutation.
miniature Brangus
AKA: Bramalow
Breed Chondro Status: chondro-free
Miniature Version: This composite breed in miniature version is in development. It will be a few years before breeders have the miniature Brangus composite fully established in North America. It is being developed with miniature Angus and miniature Zebu. The miniature Brangus composite is fairly well established in Australia, and is known as the Bramalow there.
Standard Version: The standard Brangus began in the early 1930s with Brahman and Angus composites developed by cattlemen across southern US. They established the American Brangus Breeders Association in 1949. The Brangus blends the heat, drought & humidity tolerance, disease resistance, overall hardiness and outstanding maternal instincts of the Brahman with the Angus's superior carcass qualities and extremely functional females that excel in both fertility and milking ability. Registered Brangus are 3/8 Brahman, 5/8 Angus, solid black and polled.
original type Brangus
miniature Bucking Bulls

AKA miniature bucking stock, mini rough stock
Breed Description: miniature bulls bred for youth bullriding
Breed Chondro status: some herds are *carriers
Breed Traits: Miniature Bucking Bulls are bred for their short size, their willingness to buck, their blitz & bright colors for Little Britches rodeos and their easy-going, gentle temperament with kids. Some bucking bulls descend from the old American Toy Sundog composite.
Miniature Bucking Bull Registry: This registry keeps track of pedigrees of successful bucking stock that are also gentle and good with kids. MBBR adds no charge to the DNA testing fees from UC Davis, and keep those records in their database.
Contacts: Gare & Danika Millison, GDM Farm, Mannford, OK.
Mark Johnson - bucking bull

miniature Highland (hybridized)

Breed Chondro status: *carrier breed
Breed Description: Hybridized miniature Highlands are not rare. Most of North America's miniature Scottish Highland cattle are composites or upgraded high percentage Highland cattle that started out with the dwarf BD1 gene, from chondro carrier Dexters. Some are quite tiny, reaching only micro size. They come in beautiful colors, and are a very unique little ornamental breed, that function as well in producing efficient homestead beef as they do adorable pets.
Rick Sanders founded the original International Miniature Highland Cattle Association (IMHCA) in California, for this upgraded miniature Highland breed.

(photo credit right: a Hans Peterson "shorty")

upgraded mini Highland

miniature Holstein

Breed Chondro status: unknown
Breed Description: a reproduction-type composite
Breed Traits & History: There are only a handful of miniature Holstein left in existence today, and there never were many. Their exact origin is unclear. They are black and white and look like small Holstein, but in a thicker, more dual-purpose conformation. They also carry a red gene, and there are miniature red and white Holsteins as well.

photo credit: Cumberland Miniatures

miniature Holstein

J miniature Jerseys (hybridized or composites)
AKA: Irish Jersey, Belfair Jersey
AKA: proprietary composites: Belmont™ Jersey, and Lessor Jersey™
Breed Chondro status: some may be *carriers
Breed Description: there are several miniature and midsize crossbred Jersey cattle composites with varying degrees of purity; from dual purpose type crossbreds to high-percentage upgrades that qualify as purebreds. Miniature Jersey hybrid breeds are generally easy keepers with gentle dispositions.
The Belfair or Irish Jersey, is a straight 50-50 cross of a small Irish Dexter X Jersey first bred by Tracy Teed of Washington state. It is recognized as the first dual-purpose miniature breed developed in America. The Belfair is a small dairy cow that produces more meat and more efficient grass fed genetics than a pure Miniature Jersey, and more milk than a Dexter.
The Belmont™ is a 75/25 Dexter X Jersey cross, with either breed contributing the higher percentage.

"Mini Pearl" a beautiful miniature Jersey
KNF's "Mini Pearl" (above)
DOB: 2011, HEIGHT: 40" at 7yrs of age
photo credit: breeder, Tim O'Donnell, Altamont, IL

miniature Santa Gertrudis
Breed Chondro Status: chondro-free
Miniature Version
: A miniature version of the Santa Gertrudis composite breed is being developed now with miniature Zebu and miniature Shorthorn cattle. It will be a few years before breeders have the miniature Santa Gertrudis composite fully established, and start announcing or offer any miniature Santa Gertrudis cattle for sale.
Standard Version: The Santa Gertrudis standard breed is a heat-tolerant composite beef breed developed in southern Texas on the King Ranch begnning in 1918. The breed was named for the Spanish land grant where Captain Richard King originally established the King Ranch. It was officially recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1940, becoming the first beef breed developed in the United States. The purebred Santa Gertrudis is 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Shorthorn. The Zebu influence gives them high heat and drought tolerance with parasite resistance. The Santa Gertrudis is bright red. It can be polled or horned. The cows are easy calving, good milkers and excellent mothers. Santa Gertrudis steers raised either on pasture or on feed can be harvested at just about any age and produce big ribeyes on a low fat carcass. The Santa Gertrudis, like the American Miniature Jersey, has been a hybridized upgraded breed around long enough now, to be called a fullblood by its breeders.
Santa Gertrudis vintage type
T   American miniature Toy Sundog
Breed Description: older composite that is disappearing
Breed Chondro status: *carrier breed
Breed History: "Back in the day," Ralph Sowers of California was visiting Colorado when he happened upon a pair of miniature Zebu bulls. Buying the smallest one, Ralph named his new bull Holy Cow. Being only 35 inches tall and 300 lbs, that is what most people said when they saw him. After years of breeding Holy Cow with many small cows, his herd began to grow. After purchasing several cows from John Poor near Hopland, CA, things really started to happen. Uniformity within the herd began to develop with the characteristics of a miniature Beefmaster. That is when it happened, a beautiful palomino bull was born from PoorCow #1 and Holy Cow. He was named Sundog. Sundog grew fast, was mild mannered and the kids loved him. Servicing cows at a young age, his offspring were equally impressive and carried on his small size, excellent growth traits and mild manner... and the gentle little composite breed began.
Breed Traits: Through the years, only the smallest and best bulls were kept back. If they didn't carry on the desired traits, they were gone. Only herd bulls under 36 inches tall were retained. The animals had to be small, with good conformation. None of the animals appear dwarfy. Without something in the picture for a size reference, a person couldn't tell they are only 3 ft tall. Sundog Cattle may be any color or combination of colors, polled or horned. Disposition is a must; animals that are high strung or spooked easily are not kept in the herd--they are put in the freezer.

Toy Sundog cattle

"Ralph Sowers who started the Sundogs, is still around, and his Sundog Cattle are still around. He is still in Ft. Bragg, California. I don't think he breeds many Sundogs any more, now he breeds more mini Longhorn bucking bulls. He has had mini cattle for 30 some years; always small and colorful. He keeps no current webpage or email, but give Ralph Sowers a call. He communicates only by phone. The best time to call him is before 8am or after 8pm, at 707-964-3047."

sources: Dustin Pillard (Feb. 2018).
Sue Chan DVM, Vacaville California
now owns Jed the Sundog bull (pictured above).
Ralph's old unattended website;
Ralph Sowers, Ft. Bragg, CA. Oct., 2009

W  miniature Watusi
Breed Description: composite
Breed Chondro status: *carrier breed
Breed History & Traits: Watusi cattle first arrived in America in the 1960s. The miniature Watusi type composite was first bred by Mr Jeff Hatch in Springdale WA. He has bred an assortment of different miniature cattle types over the decades. His miniature Watusi composite has heavy based, upright horns. Some carry a distinctive "lightning spotting" recognized by Darol Dickinson (most notably in his bull named "Swede") as a unique genetic paint pattern seen in specific African and Indian origin breeds. It is essentially the opposite of the color-sided, or lineback pattern. "Lightning Spotting" is a splash paint white marking across the sides of a solid or speckled colored body.I do not know the current status of the miniature Watusi, but anyone interested should visit with Mr. Hatch to find out more. He also breeds miniature Longhorn composites and a lot of his bulls sell for miniature bucking bulls. Mr. Hatch communicates only by phone (509) 258-8974.
Jeff Hatch miniature Watusi
W   miniature Western Heritage cattle
Breed Chondro Status: chondro-free
Breed Description: While the Toy Sundog cattle are disappearing, another similar type may be taking its place. Miniature Western Heritage cattle are a very small horned beef composite breed, created in the image of the colorful heritage cattle that helped win the old West. Miniature Longhorns, Pineywoods, Florida Crackers, Corriente, and miniature Zebu have either been used developing this composite or are breeds in history that have served as the model for this type, with their bright colors, hardy constitution, good conformation & friendly personalities. Mini Western Heritage cattle are genetically small and have been developed using no dwarfism genetics. Many mature bulls are less than 36 inches tall and 500 lbs. Western Heritage cows milk well and are good mothers.
miniature Western Heritage cattle
miniature White Park pattern composites
Breed Chondro Status: chondro *carrier
Breed Description: "White Park" can refer to a breed, a group of breeds, or to a unique color pattern found in breeds of cattle that originated centuries ago in the British Isles. Breeds that carry the white park coloration include the Ancient White Park, the White Galloway and the American British White Park. There are a few old heritage breeds in Ireland that still have this color. This unique color is a somewhat dominant color pattern, and is used often in crossbreeding miniature cattle to develop new miniature composite breeds. Almost all miniature frame white park cattle are composites. There is a high percentage Dexter upgrade (the trademarked White Dexter®), and the latest crossbreed is miniature Scottish Highland x British White that has been dubbed the "HighPark". All are beautiful, calm and friendly little cattle that make great pets while producing excellent beef.

(photo credit: Chuck Manthey, Pinterest)

miniature White Park color calf - photo credit: Pinterest, Chuck Manthey
*Breed Chondro Status; or, "chondro-carrier breed" definition: (1) Any breed that has Dexter DNA in it. (2) Any breed that began with a Dexter chondro carrier (of BD1), used to additionally reduce its size. A "carrier" breed, does not mean every (or any) individual carries chondro. It means it is a breed that needs DNA testing (or obligate negative by parentage verification) for chondro, before breeding.


Pure breeds of Miniature Cattle
Percentage or Composite breeds of Miniature Cattle

DEVELOPING BREEDS: If listed on this page with no contact information, these are probably breeds that are not far enough along in their development to announce to the public yet. If you would like to find out more about these forming breeds, send me your contact information and I will forward requests to those breeders, so that they can get in touch with you at their convenience. Thank you.

DISCLAIMER: Mention of any specific breeder(s) on this page is not necessarily a recommendation by miniature-cattle.com, but is provided to help readers find out more about the breed itself, when that breed is few and far between. We are all learning, and the miniature cattle world is constantly evolving. Miniature-Cattle.com is dedicated to providing you the most complete, most accurate information possible. If ever anyone runs across any inadvertent mistakes, information they wish removed, or know of any important additional information that should be included that I have missed, please contact me. Help us keep this page fully updated for all. Thank you! And stay tuned... much more to come!


related article: What to Know ABout Homestead & Miniature Cattle BREEDs: Homestead breeds cover a range of sizes, from standard down to miniature. Miniature cattle are defined by height; and can be any breed or combination of breeds that meet a miniature height classification (see Frame Score charts here). Most miniature cattle "breeds" are composites or percentage breeds. Some homestead cattle are rare, heritage breeds that need preservation.

related article: What to Know About Breed Purity & the Difference between Fullblood & Purebred Cattle

related article: What to know about Livestock Breed REGISTRIES

related article: How to Calculate Ancestor Blood Percentage, a tutorial using your registered animal's pedigree

Homestead & Miniature Cattle BREEDER Directory: Find a breeder near you--breeders of all sizes, types & breeds of homestead cattle... listed by location. Breeders; if your farm or homestead belongs in this directory, or if any of your information is outdated, email your updates to homesteadcattledirectory@gmail.com.

Homestead & Miniature Cattle CLASSIFIEDS: Free and Contingency-Commission ads for cattle, supplies, services.

Homestead & Miniature Cattle Directory of Infectious Cattle Diseases: a guide to the most common diseases found in North American breeds of cattle. This directory can help herd owners decide what to test for, what to vaccinate for, and what to ask their veterinarian about, depending upon their region & local conditions.

Homestead & Miniature Cattle Directory of Heritable (Genetic) Diseases for North American breeds of cattle. This guide will help you determine what DNA tests your herd could need according to its breed makeup.

related article: GENETIC MUTATIONS: 12 Fascinating Facts about DNA (some your genetics lab won't tell you)

related article: What is a Breed. A history of type & purity of British & Continental breeds of cattle. Beef Mag
related article: Creating Breeds and Composites. TX Cooperative Extension Agency & Texas AMU
related article: Characterization of Small Breed Cattle for Small Scale Beef Production, Tennessee State Univ, USDA


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author: Donna Grace