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Why tiny cows?
When Amy and Barry Tlach's eight-year-old daughter, Abby, wanted to start showing cattle with her older sister, the couple began looking for a smaller breed of cattle to raise on their small farm near Indianola, Iowa.
While walking through the cattle barn at the Iowa State Fair, they saw Miniature Herefords and thought the smaller animals would be a great way for Abby to begin showing.
“We wanted her to start off showing a calf that wasn’t full-size,” says Amy. “I think it gives her confidence, and will help her transition into showing bigger calves in the future.”
(Photos by David Ekstrom and Amy Tlach)Date Published: July 3, 2014Date Updated: July 14, 2014
New breed on the farm
The Tlachs bought their first two Miniature Hereford heifers at the Miniature Hereford beef cattle sale at the Iowa State Fair. They currently have five Miniature Herefords to go along with their small herd of crossbred cattle.
“It’s been a little bit of a learning curve for us,” said Amy. “My husband and I have raised crossbred cattle for the past six years on our farm, but each breed is different and we're always learning something new."Date Published: July 3, 2014Date Updated: July 14, 2014
Amy grew up showing sheep, and her husband grew up raising and showing cattle.
“I think the combination of both backgrounds has been beneficial to helping our girls show,” said Amy.
The couple's eldest daughter, Jenna, is 11 years old, and a member of 4-H. Her next show will be at the local county fair where she will exhibit two heifers and four pigs.
Abby is only eight, so even though she is not old enough for 4-H, she can participate in open shows. She will be showing her heifer, Dina, at the Miniature Hereford Open Show at the Iowa State Fair this year.Date Published: July 3, 2014Date Updated: July 14, 2014
More showing opportunities
In 2013, the Iowa Junior Beef Breeds Association (IJBBA) established a Miniature Hereford class.
Now, exhibitors can show their Miniature Herefords at the IJBBA shows and earn points.
The first National Junior Miniature Hereford Expo was held this June at the National Western Stock Show Complex in Denver, Colorado.Date Published: July 3, 2014Date Updated: July 14, 2014
Height and weight
Miniature Herefords are registered through the American Hereford Association. In order to be registered as a Miniature Hereford, heifers and cows must be smaller than 45” and steers and bulls must be shorter than 48”.
Full-grown Miniature Herefords usually weigh between 700 and 1,000 pounds. Calves are approximately 30 to 50 pounds when they are born.Date Published: July 3, 2014Date Updated: July 14, 2014
Miniature Herefords carry many positive traits. The animals are naturally docile, and they do well in hardy winters.
Two Miniature Herefords equal one standard size cow, so they are great to have if you own fewer acres.
Miniature Herefords are beef cattle that also provide quality meat when compared to other beef breeds.
(Mini Herefords pictured on the right)Date Published: July 3, 2014Date Updated: July 14, 2014
More in the future
There are a couple of other families around Indianola that also have Miniature Hereford cattle.
Amy and Barry currently share a Miniature Hereford bull with another family in the area.
The Tlachs do plan on expanding their herd of Miniature Herefords by purchasing a couple more heifers in the near future. They also hope to have some Miniature Hereford heifer calves born next spring.Date Published: July 3, 2014Date Updated: July 14, 2014
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