In Palmer, TX one miniature zebu has turned into many for an area couple.
Dottie Love hasn’t had to mow her acreage for years, she says.
Her breeding herd of miniature zebu cattle handles the yard for Love, an artist who teaches computer graphics and art at the Cleburne campus of Hill College, says writer Jackie Larson.
“The decision to seek out small livestock came from their move to rural Palmer six years ago,” writes Larson. “While the most familiar American cattle descend from European breeds, the miniature zebu comes from Indian stock, from which breeds including the American Brahman and Santa Gertrudis also descend.”
Zebu is a term which is synonymous with “Bos Indicus,” the scientific name for the humped cattle of the world. Because they were better adapted to hot environments, zebus were imported to Africa for hundreds of years and interbred with native cattle there. Numerous breeds are complex mixtures of the zebu and other Bos taurus varieties, and some also have yak, gaur, or banteng genetics.
“We only had five acres, so we had to have small things,” Love said in a recent interview. “Miniature zebu Birdie was one of the best house pets I have ever had. If they’re bottle babies they’re yours their whole life. They’re not delicate at all. The miniature cattle are intelligent and sensitive and can be sweethearts.”
According to Larson, like their larger cousins, miniature zebu prefer a pastoral environment.
American Miniature Zebu Association members show at the Texas State Fair and have been accepted into the Louisiana State Fair as well, wrote Larson.
Calves born this spring at Love’s Palmer operation will be shipped to a thoroughbred ranch in California and a New Hampshire farm, Love said in a recent article.
Her bottle-raised steer Cubby descends from a famed herd in Michigan, according to research.
Cubby’s soft coat is the color of gray flannel and the steer has long-lashed black eyes and big horns, reports Larson.
He enjoys the limelight, making an appearance on television during the state fair, decked out in beads and veils like his ancestors, the revered cows of India, according to reports.
“He loved it,” Love said.