Mauldin Classic Herefords
Raising the right size for better efficiency and profit for small farms
Beef Industry, Hobby or Exotic?
In order for our cattle to be considered “Classic Size”, they must be considered acceptable to the commercial beef industry. The reason the commercial beef industry raises breeds like Herefords and Angus cattle is to produce the beef products people want to purchase. Ranches raise them to sell as breeding stock, replace stock and show stock but the ultimate place “classic size” beef cattle must be accepted is at the sale barn and beef processors. Whether an animal is sold as breeding stock or show stock, it is still expected the animal will go on or produce beef cattle to sell to beef processors. That is the ultimate reason for beef cattle. If an animal can not be acceptable to the beef industry, it is considered for hobby farms or as an exotic animal. We rarely take one of our Classic cattle to a sale barn but if they are not an acceptable size for the beef industry then they won’t be acceptable to the beef industry for people that purchase our animals. In other words, they would be similar to the past Emu Industry that sold the Emus and their eggs at high prices to other people doing the same thing (pyramid scheme). That ended abruptly when the Emu owner started finding out there was no market for the Emu meat and that caused their market to evaporate and many of the Emus were just turned out from the farms because they couldn’t even pay for their feed.
The following is from an article on the Internet about “miniature cattle”
Miniature Cattle for Hobby Farmers
by Hobby Farms Editors
February 18, 2009
By Sue Weaver
Miniature bovines are taking the country by storm, and rightfully so. They’re the perfect, pocket-size cattle for hobbyists, family dairy cow keepers, and specialty-beef entrepreneurs. There are so many breeds to choose from!
The below is info about the initial reason for breeding Miniature Herefords.
Miniature Hereford sizes were selected to be smaller beef cattle for small farms. The Largent Ranch originated the idea of “Miniature Herefords (http://www.miniatureherefords.org.au/?page_id=20). Here are the objectives associated with them.
“This idea was due in part to the rise in popularity of small acreage farms, or “ranchettes”. So many people were leaving the big cities to live on 5-15 acre country homes, they would want a small, gentle animal as a pet, agricultural tax exemption status, and the more adventurous may even want to raise their own beef. Small animals would eat far less than their modern-sized counterparts, and thrive in smaller environments”.
The other considerations people have for small beef cattle is to raise their own beef or to sell some to friends, neighbors or local communities. If their cattle are not acceptable to the beef industry, that means they are too small to provide sufficient beef when processed to be financially justified. If these beef cattle are at the lower end of the frame score categories, that means they may only weigh between 500 to 600 lbs. The people then need to consider how much actual meat they will end up with after a mini steer is processed into individual cuts. Also, many Miniature beef cattle sell for a higher price than a modern-day size steer. So a person would be paying a lot more for the cattle but getting much less beef after being processed. We don’t have any information on how much loss there is between live weight and the final processed beef produced from smaller beef cattle. We do have examples of how much weight is lost when processing a typical 1,000 lbs steer.