Miniature Zebu Cattle (or Brahman) are one of the four popular miniature cattle breeds in the United States. There is little history on this particular miniature cattle breed because it dates back to somewhere around 3000B.C. This actually makes it the oldest known cattle breed. It is believed that the Zebu originated in the southern part of India and in Sri Lanka in Asia. In America the dates of the first Miniature Zebu Cattle are cloudy. But, there is an indication that this breed of miniature cattle had no imports to America from 1960 to 1990 and there were few breeders of Miniature Zebu Cattle, mostly being zoos.
In 1991, things started changing in the world of Miniature Zebu Cattle. The International Miniature Zebu Association was formed on April 10, 1991. This organization was created by 29 Miniature Zebu owners and other people interested in the miniature cattle. This same year a private survey was conducted through out the United States which identified 50 Miniature Zebu breeders who had a total of 118 bulls and 289 cows as well as 23 zoos who had a total of 25 bulls and 42 cows. Today there are over 177 breeders of Miniature Zebu Cattle in the United States.
What are Miniature Zebus? This is pretty easy to answer. Most of them look like mini Brahmans. This breed of miniature cattle can not exceed 42″ tall behind their hump, this is true for cows and bulls, to be registered. Bulls can weigh from 400 to 600 pounds and cows can weigh from 300 to 500 pounds. Calves average 20 pounds when they are born and they are usually around 100 pounds when they are weaned. Miniature Zebus have a carcass yield of 30% of their live weight. They are acceptable in many colors, this includes steel gray to white, red, black and cream. They are also available in spotted, painted and brindle. Pretty much any color and any pattern. They can have horns, which can be any size or shape or they can be polled. They can even be dehorned and are acceptable for registration. Their ears are not droopy like the standard Brahman, instead they tend to stick straight out. Miniature zebus have humps, large dewlaps and extra sweat glands that make them perfect for hot, humid areas.
Why raise Miniature Zebus? The reasons for raising these miniature cows and bulls may vary from breeder to breeder, but they can all agree on a couple. Miniature Zebu Cattle require less space and care than standard size cattle and they easily adapt to hot, humid, tropical climates. For people who want something a little different, or just little, Miniature Zebu Cattle may be just the thing they are looking for.