The Hereford cattle breed was first started 250 years ago by the Tomkins family in Herefordshire, England. In the late 1960s, Point of Rocks Ranch in Fort Davis, Texas used certified dwarf-free Hereford bloodlines to create the miniature cattle we know today. By 1989 breeding stock was available for sale. Point of Rocks Ranch still maintains 11 separate bloodlines to ensure a sufficient genetic base for breeding of the Miniature Hereford. They are purebred Herefords. They are simply not as tall as the normal, ordinary Hereford you usually see today. The miniature cattle are registered with the Australian Hereford Society (and American Hereford Association), just like their large counterparts; and their pedigrees within the AHA trace all the way back to when the Hereford cow first set foot on American soil.
History of Herefords
Various associations throughout the world give a description of the History of Herefords in relation to their country. The links are as follows:
Miniature Hereford Bloodlines
The blood lines used in the development of Miniature Herefords are as follows:
Husker Mischief, Zato Heir, Colorado Domino, Real Onward, Mill Iron, Britisher, Real Silver
These seven blood lines which were all checked free of dwarfism by the American Hereford Association, represented the top winning blood lines in America at the time. As can be said of almost all Herefords in the United States, these blood lines can be traced directly back to Anxiety 4th. From these original seven blood lines stock was selected and bred to establish the Miniature Herefords. The selection process was based on years of breeding experience and on the knowledge of the genetics carried through each of these lines. Today’s Miniature Herefords can be traced back to these top winning blood lines which represent the Hereford breed prior to the increase in the size and the change in style of Hereford cattle since the early 1970’s. The first 20 years of breeding concentrated on an intensive line breeding program.
During the past five years of breeding Husker Mischief, Colorado Domino, Mill Iron, Britisher and Onward stock have been reintroduced into the blood of the Miniature Hereford. Additionally some straight bred Anxiety 4th blood has been introduced in recent years. This breeding program has resulted in a large genetic pool to draw from and ensures the success of a line breeding program.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF MINIATURE HEREFORD BLOODLINES
The Mischief line came from the Bell Ranch in north eastern New Mexico, owned by Albert Mitchell. The registered Hereford herd managed by Mr. Mitchell dated back to 1896 including a cow added to the herd in 1920, Bright Duchess 76 by a son of Beau Brummel and out of a daughter of Beau Brummel (the bull Beau Brummel was a son of Anxiety the (4th). The Mischief line is descended directly from Anxiety 4th chiefly through Young Anxiety the 4th. In 1925 another bull was purchased Mischief 5th and through this bull many champions were produced. The Mischief line is considered to be one of the top Hereford lines ever to be produced in the United States.
The Zato line came from the Turner Ranch at Sulphur, Okalahoma. Following the “clean up” of the Hereford pedigrees in the mid 1950’s the Zato line had a profound impact on the Hereford breed. The “clean up” refers to the work undertaken by the American Hereford Association in checking of Hereford pedigrees for bloodlines containing dwarfism. Zato lines were identified to be free of dwarfism during this process. Zato cattle were smaller and chunkier in confirmation that any other lines following the clean up of the pedigrees. Zato lines exhibit a deep red colour.
The Colorado Domino line was one of the leading blood lines from the mid 50’s to the early 70’s. The original “Domino” bull was but 5 generations out of Anxiety 4th. The Colorado Domino’s came out of Prince Domino. Over a period of 25 years Banning-Lewis Ranches at Colorado Springs developed what became known as the Colorado Dominos. Through selective breeding emphasis was placed upon bone structure without loss of smoothness and upon refinement became known as the Colorado Dominos.
Onward cattle first came from the Hull Dobbs Ranch at Forth Worth, Texas. Onward cattle were lighter coloured Herefords.
The Mill Iron line was of Colorado Domino ancestry originating on Mill Iron Ranches at Childress, Texas.
The Britisher bull used by Largent and Sons came from the Everett Brown herd in Reliance, Nebraska. Britisher cattle were another deep bodies line of Herefords. The Britisher line originated in Saskatchewan, Canada on the Robert Weir farm at Weldon, Saskatchewan.
The Real Silver line was prominent in the show ring from 1925 to the late 1950’s. Real Silver cattle were more yellow and lighter in colour.