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Miniature Hereford Cattle Growing in Popularity

Miniature Hereford Cattle Growing in Popularity

As a breed, miniature Hereford beef cattle have a lot going for them. They are compact, efficient, docile, easy to handle and mature quickly. They eat considerably less than their full-size counterparts and produce very tasty meat.

But they also are really cute.

And their popularity is growing, according to Debbie Flohr, breed manager for miniature Herefords at the Indiana State Fair. While much of that growth has so far been in states farther west, such as Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, “It’s kind of making its way east,” she said, and there are now reputable breeders in Indiana and Ohio.

As of 2023, the number of miniature Herefords exhibited at the state fair’s open show had in just a few years grown from 10 to 28. Only Angus and regular Hereford breeds had higher representation, Flohr said. At the National Western Stock Show in Denver, demand is such that there are both open and junior shows for miniature Herefords. The Miniature Hereford Breeders Association lists more than 500 members, who can be found in nearly every state.

The only difference between a Hereford and a miniature Hereford is the height and overall size. The miniature Hereford was developed over the last 30 years by selective breeding of stock that was originally imported to the U.S. from England in the early 19th century, according to The Cattle Site, a knowledge-sharing platform for the global cattle industry.

“A female cannot exceed 45 inches at the hip, while for a male, it’s 48 inches at the hip,” Flohr said. In contrast, a regular Hereford female might be 55 or 60 inches at the hip while a male might be 60 or 64 inches.

But despite their much smaller size, the miniature variety has the same body profile as a full-sized Hereford in terms of proportions.

One of the major attractions of miniature Herefords is that they are easier to handle and therefore easier to show, particularly for kids. That’s why Trent Hostetler got one. Hostetler got interested in miniature Herefords because his granddaughter was interested in showing cattle. But there was a catch.

“She wanted to show by herself,” Hostetler said. This past summer, at the tender age of 7, she showed a miniature Hereford named Daisy at the open class show at her county fair in Indiana.

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Photo Credit: gettyimages-pamwalker68

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Categories: Indiana, Livestock, Beef Cattle

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