Miniature Hereford History.
The Miniature Hereford has been developed over the last 20 years by selective breeding of stock that was originally imported to the US from England in the early 19th century. The miniature Hereford breeding program was initially started by the Largent family in 1974, whose ranch is located in the Davis Mountains of Texas.
Rust Largent initially concentrated on breeding the most efficient cattle suited to the local conditions of his ranch. After working on size reduction for several years with efficiency in mind, a bull was used at the ranch that enabled a reduction in frame size to be achieved at an increased rate. This bull’s name was Laser. Since Laser there has been a succession of small animals. The herd has been systematically culled and improved continuously to produce the base herd.
Registration of Miniature Herefords
All Miniature Herefords are able to be registered with the American Hereford Society, hence they are checked free of the dwarfism gene. The first Miniature Herefords were sold on the open market in 1991. Miniature Herefords are now available in many states of the US and Canada. A small number of breeders in Australia, including Australian Miniature Herefords are developing the bloodlines in this country.
They are registered by Herefords Australia (HAL) in Australia. A breeders network, Australian Miniature Hereford Breeders Network was formed to help new owners of miniature Herefords and to assist with marketing and showing
What should a miniature Hereford look like?
In general terms, a Miniature Hereford should show a body profile in proportion to a full sized Hereford. That is, if you look at a photograph of a miniature, without a size reference in the photo (say a person standing next to it) then the structure and conformation should be almost indiscernible from a full size.
Regular size Herefords can reach 165cm (65 inches) tall, whereas Miniature Hereford are a lot smaller, averaging around 107cm (42 inches), Miniature Hereford cattle are measured at the hip using a frame score. Generally, the lower the frame score, the more the cattle are worth – provided other characteristic are correct.