Virginia, United States
Other name(s): Belmont (Irish Jersey) Miniature Cattle
Scientific name: Bos taurus
Country / Place of origin: United States
History: The Belfair Cattle is the name given to a cross between registered Dexter cattle and registered Miniature Jersey cattle. The Belfair is a small animal whose main advantage may be that it produces more meat than a Miniature Jersey, and more milk than a purebred Dexter.
Current Uses: Dairy
Appearance: According to the International Miniature Cattle Breeders Society and Registry, "Animals must be 42" or under at maturity (three years) to be classified as Miniature."
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.Jersey cows are favored for their small size, docile temperament, and ability to thrive even in hot climates. Bulls are known to be somewhat aggressive.