As Feed Prices Climb, Minicows Moove In

Smaller cattle eat less, take up less space
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 12, 2008 2:47 PM CDT
A woman holds on to her miniature Hereford steer while preparing the animal for show in the barns at the National Western Stock Show in Denver on Friday, Jan. 25, 2008.    (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – As feed prices soar, some farmers are literally shrinking their operations by turning to minicows--cattle half as big as their full-size cousins. The trendy creatures produce proportionally more beef while eating less, some researchers say. They require less space and “don’t tear up the grounds as much as your full-size cows,” one farmer tells the Wall Street Journal.

Some 17,000 of the little critters live in the US, and their population is growing by 20% a year. But not everyone is sold. “Heck no—there's just not enough meat on 'em,” says a rancher. And for some, even mini isn't mini enough. Says one owner: "I'd like them to be a little smaller, so they don't run me over."