Minis???

Blackgold05

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Can breeds like miniature zebu or highlands live on small acreage in a multi species grazing system without having to compete for grass? Or will they deplete the whole field ?
 

farmerjan

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It all depends on what kind of acreage you are talking. They do not need the amount of land for grazing as a larger breed... Highland cattle are not "mini's"; the mature bulls can weigh in at as much as a 2-3 yr old angus... 1500-1800 lbs and cows can weigh in at 1,000. I have heard there is a "mini-highland"... along with other mini breeds like "mini-herefords". You are also looking at alot more difficulties in breeding and calving... along with some dwarfism genes. Most "normal sized" highland cattle will weigh in the 800 lb range for cows and 1400 + for the bulls.
For example, some of our mature angus cross cows that we sold this past week averaged in the 1100 lb range.
Highland cattle are shorter and more compact. than many of the "regular" beef breeds in the country.
Galloways are another breed from the same general areas/conditions that highlands were developed... they also are a little smaller than many modern commercial beef breeds. Again, they are the same as the highland cattle in that they have a double hair coat so can withstand cold, raw weather.
If you feed supplemental hay you can have several to the acre... You will not have grass. Different areas of the country will determine the number on any given area... but for the most part, an acre of ground will not support a cow for more than 2-3 weeks if the grass is lush... you have to rotational graze them to get any amount of time and that means getting them completely off a certain area for 30-45 days to get optimal regrowth. If you keep hay in front of them, and section off the grass, then you can get by with an acre or 2 so the grass is a "treat' and not their main source of nutrition.
 

Mini Horses

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It is always the same.....the quantity and quality of what is growing in pastures is paramount to what and how many can be adequately housed and grazed in any given area -- 1 acre or 10! There are controls, like pasture rotation, time on fields, etc. Same basically with any and all. Containment is a huge factor ie fence. Then zoning.

Ages and use of animals plays into what they need nutritionally. It seems you are bouncing all over the place with animals. Decide which you want and WHY. Then, find what that animal needs....and if your property allows them. It will help us help you.
 

Baymule

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A small acreage will not support many animals. Trying to raise cattle will cost a lot in feed and hay. Best bet for small acreage is to buy a steer, feed it out for the freezer, take to slaughter and fill the freezer. Same with pigs. Feeder pigs only.

What are your goals, how many acres and what animals do you want to raise? And where are you located? We can't really help you much if we don't at least know what general area you are in. For instance, I'm in east Texas, it is lush, green, forests and pastures. West Texas is dry, rocky, and takes a lot of acres to support just ONE animal.

By all means, live your dream. Temper it with reality. Instead of a breeding herd, you might have to settle for feeding out an animal for the freezer and do it when the climate/season is most friendly for it.
 

secuono

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Virginia is for Pasture Farmers!
True minis, built to be lean, not beefy, could, like Zebu.
But you also need to worry about grass quality & how fast it grows.
Plus, how small is small acreage to you? And how many of what other animals?
You need to rotate often to let it recover and grow. Leaving them on it full time will leave you with struggling grass so short you'd think it's carpet.


My 3 live with 30 mini ewes & their lambs. Rotating on roughly 8 acres. Been a cold spring, so grass was slow to come in. But the Zebu have done fine on it.
20220518_184841.jpg
 

secuono

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Virginia is for Pasture Farmers!
Searched around and you have "about an acre".
So, I wouldn't mess with cattle + goats/sheep on that size, personally.
A ton of mud and even more hay being fed year round is all I can invision.

What do you want the animals for?
If eating, have you tasted goat or sheep? They're different than beef.
For milk, there are some great milking goat breeds, easier on the land and to handle than cattle. And easier to find than sheep.
If breeding, goat bucks reek. You may want to think of alternatives to keeping a buck.

Either way, set up a good rotation system!
 

Blackgold05

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A small acreage will not support many animals. Trying to raise cattle will cost a lot in feed and hay. Best bet for small acreage is to buy a steer, feed it out for the freezer, take to slaughter and fill the freezer. Same with pigs. Feeder pigs only.

What are your goals, how many acres and what animals do you want to raise? And where are you located? We can't really help you much if we don't at least know what general area you are in. For instance, I'm in east Texas, it is lush, green, forests and pastures. West Texas is dry, rocky, and takes a lot of acres to support just ONE animal.

By all means, live your dream. Temper it with reality. Instead of a breeding herd, you might have to settle for feeding out an animal for the freezer and do it when the climate/season is most friendly for it.
I’m in Decatur Georgia there’s a lot of flat yardage here as well. I was thinking the same if raising a single steer instead of breeding
 

Baymule

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We built a pen for feeder pigs and did a good job of raising them for freezer meat. A couple of years ago, when the pigs went out, we brought in a steer and fed him over the winter, with very good results.

 

Baymule

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But honestly, since your area is so small, you might be better off to find a farmer and buy a side of beef. Not knocking your effort to have better food to eat, you have to prioritize what is most suitable to the area you have. Overstock and you’ll spend a fortune on feed. Plus animals get wormy when crowded.
 

Blackgold05

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But honestly, since your area is so small, you might be better off to find a farmer and buy a side of beef. Not knocking your effort to have better food to eat, you have to prioritize what is most suitable to the area you have. Overstock and you’ll spend a fortune on feed. Plus animals get wormy when crowded.
How many animals do you think could be kept on a one acre property
 
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