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Miniature Longhorn FAQs

Are Miniature or Small-FramedTexas Longhorns really Texas Longhorns?

Yes, Miniature or Small-Framed Texas Longhorns were created by selectively breeding registered Texas Longhorns for size.

Who originally developed the Miniature Texas Longhorn?

Nature created the Miniature Texas Longhorns. As long as the breed has been in existance, small-framed Texas Longhorns have existed. However, it is fairly recently that some breeders have seen the value in these small-framed animals and have started selecting for small size in their breeding programs. Whether they are called small-framed or miniatures, they are 100% Texas Longhorns.

How big are Miniature Texas Longhorns?

Miniature Texas Longhorns must be frame score 1 or less (45" for cows and 48" for bulls). All measurements are taken to the top of the hip.

We strive for an AUE of 1/2 to 3/4, this means that it takes half to 3/4 as much forage for one of our small-framed Texas Longhorns than what is normally consumed by a standard-sized cow.

Frame Score Chart (weights are for commercial beef cattle)

Is there a separate registry for Miniature Texas Longhorns?

Since all of these "Miniature" or "Small-framed" Texas Longhorns originated from standard Texas Longhorns, most are registered with either the ITLA or TLBAA within their standard registries.

The TLBAA does have a miniature registry but due to the rules that have been imposed on this registry, most breeders have chosen not to lock their animals into this new TLBAA "Miniature Registry." By keeping their cattle registered in the standard registries they can market their animals to all Texas Longhorn enthusiasts and not just other miniature breeders.

To learn more about the TLBAA's Miniature Texas Longhorn Registry and why we do not support it, please click on this LINK

When purchasing a Miniature Texas Longhorn, does it matter which registry they are registered with?

The only two Texas Longhorn registries that are internationally recognized are ITLA and TLBAA. Animals registered within either of these two registries can be dual-registered with both registries.

The only potential problem with moving between registries is that the ITLA will not dual-register cattle that are registered as miniatures with the TLBAA. This is another good reason why it is beneficial to have your cattle registered within the standard registries and not the new TLBAA Miniature Registry.

If the TLBAA changes the rules that govern their new miniature registry, it may become the best choice but in its current form it is more of a liability than an asset.

When I look on various Miniature Texas Longhorn breeder websites I see wild fluctuations in price from one animal to the next. Why are prices so variable within this breed?

Many things are taken into account when setting the sale price for registered Miniature Texas Longhorns. Primarily breeders are looking at the quality of the sire and dam (blood lines), the height of the animal, the size of the horns, horn shape, body confirmation, disposition, training, coat and color. Exceptional quality animals command a much higher price than animals that do not 100% fit the breed standard. This is the same situation with dog breeders. Show quality dogs command a much higher price than pet quality dogs. Additionally, some breeders are simply more proud of their stock than others.

A common mistake that people make is to start their herd by purchasing economically priced stock. Poor quality stock will likely produce poor quality calves. We strongly believe that you get what you pay for (but not in all cases). If you are interested in purchasing a Miniature Texas Longhorn, feel free to email us photos and as much information as possible about the animal and we will give you our thoughts. We can even run the information past a show judge to have them give you their opinion about the animal(s).

Should I halter train my Miniature Texas Longhorn?

Animals that are halter trained are much more enjoyable to own as pasture pets and show animals. These animals crave attention and are much easier to handle. Some halter trained animals can be vaccinated and have their hooves trimmed wothout the need for expensive chutes and alleys. So, for small land owners that do not want to invest in expensive working equipment and want gentle animals that they can enjoy as pasture pets -- spending a little time to halter train your Miniature Texas Longhorn is a very good idea.

Why would a ranch be interested in raising Miniature Texas Longhorns?

Miniature Texas Longhorns (MTLs) are "easy keepers," meaning that their feed conversion ratios are much higher than full-sized cattle (e.g. it takes less food for them to put on weight).

Due to their size, they require much less food than full-sized cattle. As a result, small acreage landowners can maintain a respectable size herd of Miniature Texas Longhorns without running the risk of over grazing their range.

MTLs are excellent wildlife management tools that are easy on the eye. These little cows do a fine job of reducing standing biomass to improve quail habitat.

Miniature Texas Longhorns can bring much higher prices than their full-sized counterparts and cost less to produce.

Due to the small size and unique qualities of these animals, they are a heck of a lot of fun to raise.

Are there any additional costs associated with Miniature Texas Longhorns that are above and beyond those that would be incurred when raising other types of miniature cattle?

Miniature Texas Longhorns should have very large horns for their physical body size. As a result, special chutes and alleys are a good idea in the working pens. These animals (when > 1 year old) may not be able to get their horns through a standard alley and standard squeeze chute.

We have used standard Priefert equipment to work our cattle but this will only work with gentle animals or very young animals. Texas Longhorns are very "horn aware" meaning that they know exactly where the tips of their horns are and can slowly maneuver their horns down the alley and chute. We finally replaced our Priefert chute with one made by P&C Pens and it works very well on calves all the way up to full-sized steers & bulls.

There are many good chutes that are made specifically for big horned cattle:




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