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Advantages in Breeding Smaller Beef Cattle

Half the size, half the work and half the expense when you breed from smaller bulls and heifers is exactly what rancher Bob Potter wanted. "Sixty-five per cent of that animal goes for edible beef as opposed to 45 to 50 per cent off one of the big ones," he said in the report.

"So we actually get more, so small really equates to efficiency."

The reports says that the small animals are also environmentally friendly as their little hooves are easier on the pasture, they take up less space, expel less methane and overall leave a smaller carbon footprint.

Because they are small and easier to handle, mini-cows have also opened up new opportunities for women in cattle ranching. Lisa Bos said she can handle these cows without any help, but she does enlist the aid of her three-year-old son Carson as a ranch hand. "I feel comfortable having him around these size cows, not 1,200 pounds but 300 or 400 pounds. That's perfect for us," she said.

At Potter's PJ Ranch, he's getting swamped with phone calls from people all over the country interested in economizing their herds. While Potter believes his mini-cows won't take over the industry any time soon, he said they're more than just a novelty and a legitimate alternative for ranches of all sizes.