Surprisingly small and easy to handle, the newly developing American Miniature Belted Galloway, or Mini Beltie, can be kept as livestock or as a pet! American Miniature Belted Cattle, also known as Mini Cookies, are docile and hardy. They are fairly easy to handle and their small size makes them manageable even by children! Like all cattle, Mini Belties need an Ivomec injection or pour-on treatment to worm them in spring and fall. The pour-on solution will not treat liver flukes. Mini Belties also need an eight-way vaccine each year, like all cattle, to prevent such diseases as tetanus and black leg.
American Miniature Belted Cattle will also need a salt and mineral lick and fresh water available to them at all times. During summer, there are mineral licks available which will help to control flies. This may also be done with Co-Ral Dust, a lice and mite control powder, which should be applied every few weeks according to the can directions. As with all white-faced cattle, Mini Belties need sun protection in the summer, which can be accomplished with shade or shelters. Otherwise, facial sunburn and pinkeye may result.
Mini Belties are characterized by their thick dual coat and their Belted Galloway coloration, black or red with a white colored belt about the middle. The breed is characterized by its uniform size and healthy, hale disposition. It has a thickset body with quality beef. It also has high milk production capabilities. Mini Beltie bulls stand 110 centimeters at the hip when they are about a year old, but can be as tall as 125 centimeters without being disqualified for breed registry. Yearling cows must stand 105 to 120 centimeters.
American Miniature Belties were developed with the end goal of healthy, uniformly sized, high beef and milk yielding, docile miniature cattle.
To accomplish this, full-sized Belted Galloway Cattle were crossed with Miniature Irish Dexter Cattle bulls. Calves with the desired traits were selected from the offspring. Another cross, between Mini Irish Dexter Cattle and Dutch Belted Cattle was effected at the same time and offspring selected. These second-generation belted cattle were in turn crossed with Bulingo breeds as well. The result was the American Miniature Belted Cow we know today. There are still a few problems with Mini Belties, as they do not always produce offspring of the desired size or coloration. The breed is still in development and it is expected to have a true-breeding gene pool soon. As in full-sized Belted Galloway Cattle, Mini Belties will sometimes have offspring that are solid colored.
Mini Belties are especially susceptible to pink eye, carried by flies, and thus should have ample protection from flies in the summer in addition to an experienced veterinarian to treat the illness. Mini Belties also need weather shelter, as they are susceptible to sun burn and rain burn. They should be fed twice a day on hay but if pasture grass is thriving, they may eat this unless it causes diarrhea, in which case Mini Belties should be fed a bit of dry hay to firm the stool.
Consult your veterinarian as well to ensure that your Mini Beltie has proper nutrition. Upon calving, be sure to spray a two to three percent Iodine solution on the naval cord site. Consult your veterinarian, as often they will recommend Vitamin E and Selenium, and Vitamin A and D shots for calves. At four to 12 months of age, female Mini Beltie calves need a Brucellosis or Bangs vaccination, which is required by law in most states.