Mini Galloways - The Perfect Pet?

Modern life is hectic and stressful. Current generations are growing up glued to smart phones and video games. Many children's connection to the great outdoors is tenuous at best and most have no idea about where their food comes from and how it happens. The concept of the small hobby farm has taken off in recent years, as many suburban parents strive to give their kids a taste of the country and expand their life experiences. They often end up with an eclectic mix of several different kinds of animals and a strong emotional attachment to them all. They become permanent members of the family that are more pet than livestock.

We often get inquiries that sound a lot like this...

"We have five acres of land, some cross-fencing, a small barn, and a run-in shed. We have two pot-bellied pigs, a llama, three goats, and some chickens. We really want to get a cow, but we aren't sure how well it would get along with the other animals or if it would be too big and wild for the kids to take care of safely. We have no intention of breeding, selling, or butchering. It's really just going to be a big pet. Are the mini Galloways suitable for this kind of use?"

Our answer is a resounding "Yes!" The mini Galloways are the perfect livestock pet. They are by nature usually curious and docile, easy to tame, and affectionate. They also can have a long lifespan with good care and quality feed. We have many cows that are between 15 and 20 years old that are still producing healthy calves every year. It's realistic for your human and bovine youngsters to be able to bond and grow up together.

Meet Finn, a solid black mini Galloway steer, and Lachy, a White Park mini with black points. They live in Maryland with the Manzari family and are the perfect example of Galloway pet bliss. Finn and Lachy are permanent members of their family, and the kids are having a unique and valuable childhood experience. In fact, Finn and Lachy have been such great ambassadors for the Galloway breed that the Manzaris decided to fence another pasture and bring in the other color patterns.

In the spring of 2016, they welcomed Axel and Rudy. Axel is the fairly rare solid red, while Rudy is a White Park with red points. Rudy was a little spooked over the vaccinations and the shipping, so it took him a little longer to warm up to his new family. The usual cow treats and brushing weren't quite doing the trick, but he made the connection that his human family was all good when a heat wave of 100 degree temperatures for a solid week hit the area. A couple of hose downs with cold water from the garden hose, and Rudy figured out why Finn and Lachy think their humans are so great. Some of the Galloways are bolder and braver than others, but with a little patience and persistence, they almost all come around to be great pets.

Finn, Lachy, Axel, and Rudy are steers. Some pet buyers do not want to worry about the higher testosterone levels with bulls, and they have no intention of breeding, so the steers make an excellent choice. Steers sold as pets are priced by their weight and age at time of sale. Some people, such as Karen in Indiana, want the experience of seeing the calving on their own place and then raising the calf from birth. Karen bought two open heifers and two bred heifers. The summer was occupied with getting the girls settled in and watching for the signs. At the end of August, the first baby arrived. What happy shock and surprise, it was a solid red heifer calf! We hear there are bets underway amongst Karen's friends about how long before the calf is in the house... Not if, but when. Karen sent a video of her calf at three days old. You can see why the bets have begun. What a cutie!

To the left is a black point bull calf with his mother and next to them are some young bulls hanging out on the farm.

Rare purebred heritage breeds
... a valuable agricultural heritage!
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