Other name(s): Mini Beltie
Scientific name: Bos taurus
Country / Place of origin: Scotland
History: Miniature Belted Galloway Cattle are a miniature version of the Belted Galloway Cattle.The Belted Galloway Cattle is a breed of cattle originating from Galloway in South West Scotland. The exact origins of the breed are unclear, although it is generally thought that the white "belt" that distinguishes the Belted Galloway from the native black Galloway, was a result of cross breeding with Dutch Lakenvelder belted cattle. Belted Galloways, also known as Belties, are currently listed with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy as a "watched" breed, which means there are fewer than 2,500 annual registrations in the United States and a global population of less than 10,000. The Miniature Belted Galloway Cattle has all the characteristics and qualities of the larger Galloway and Belted Galloway, only in a smaller size. Miniature cattle are typically between 36-46 inches in height (cow and bulls).
Current Uses: Beef. Because of the Galloway Cattle double hair coat, carcasses do not have the extra layer of back fat common to many other breeds.
Appearance: Galloway cattle are naturally polled. The most visible characteristics of the Belted Galloway are its long hair coat and the broad white belt that completely encircles the body. Its coarse outer coat helps shed the rain, and its soft undercoat provides insulation and waterproofing, enabling the breed to happily overwinter outside. Black Belties are most prominent, but Dun and Red Belties are also recognized by breed societies, the latter being comparatively rare and sought after.
Average weight: N/A
Lifespan: 20 - 25 years
Grooming: Cows normally groom each other by licking the head, neck and back; they also rub against posts and other structures a few times a day. Additional, regular grooming, however, contributes to their overall health and productivity.The cow’s hooves should be trimmed regularly, which is best done by professionals. Their hair can be shampooed, conditioned, blow-dried, brushed, trimmed, and clipped as necessary to keep the cows clean and looking smart, especially if they are being shown. Some cattle owners enhance their barns by installing automatic motorized brushes that rotate when the cow leans against it, helping with the scratching and grooming.
Diet: A good quality pasture for grazing is the basic dietary requirement of cattle. The recommended pasture size per cow is 10 acres, without which, the diet should be supplemented with hay. The recommended quantity of hay is an average of 2% of the animal’s body weight per day (or 2 lbs. of hay per 100 lbs. of body weight). Supplements include grain mixes, protein and mineral cubes, and salt blocks, depending on the type of cow, its uses, and the local climate.Providing a constant supply of fresh water is essential. An adult cow consumes an estimate of up to 20 gallons of water per day.
Housing: Housing for cattle is essentially to give them shelter from extreme weather conditions. Barns, rub-in sheds, stalls, and other structures like windbreaks, should be available where the cows graze. Aside from manmade shelters, trees and tall bushes can provide resting places for cattle to minimize heat stroke or wind chill.Shelters will give the cows the option to seek safe haven from strong winds, extreme heat or cold, and heavy rains. Shelters should be strong, stable, spacious, well ventilated, and waterproof. Barns should be provided with water supply, and stalls should be lined with hay. They should also be cleaned regularly. Sprinklers and other cooling systems are recommended for areas that overheat during summer months. Professional and humane fencing should be provided. All poisonous plants should be removed from the pasture; and hay should always be kept dry (wet hay grows molds, becoming a health hazard for cows).
Health issues: Like other livestock, cattle require regular vaccinations and inoculations (for example, rabies inoculations) for disease prevention and health management. Similar to other mammals, cows can suffer a variety of ailments and health issues. A veterinarian should be on call and provide regular checkups and monitoring for the entire herd.
Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: Cattle are docile animals that have strong maternal instincts. They are big and bulky, and could, therefore, inflict harm without intending to. Handling and brushing them constantly while juvenile will help train them to be calm and trusting around humans, which is helpful especially when they need to be attended to by the veterinarian or groomer.