Miniature cows, the latest craze sweeping the country, can now be found in Clermont County.
Last month, Jim and Kristina Sanders, who own the 15-acre Locust Knoll Farm in Amelia, had six miniature cows brought in from Washington state.
“I had heard about miniature cows a few years ago,” said Kristina Sanders. “We love cows and I wanted to bring some interest to the farm so I started doing research on miniature cows.”
The Sanders located herds in Idaho, California, and Washington.
“I started talking to a man who raises and has more than 300 of the little guys in Washington,” said Kristina. “We arranged to have them transported to our farm in the back of a pickup-truck. They came directly off the range and travelled 2,000 miles to get here.”
The six miniature cows which now reside on the farm are what is known as a foundation herd.
“We have two bulls and four heifers so there is no cross-breeding,” Jim Sanders said. “The miniature cows have been bred down from six generations of Texas Longhorns.”
Very popular out west, the miniature cows (which were discovered in the Galapagos Islands in the early nineteenth century) weigh only 17 pounds when they are born. They can grow to three feet tall and weigh an average of 60 pounds. The females grow larger than the males and upon full maturity, will also grow horns. Many of the mini-cows are bred out West in order for kids involved in 4-H to ride and show in junior fair rodeos, Kristina said.
According to Jim Sanders, who is enjoying his retirement from Kroger, the miniature cows are very easy to care for.
“We feed them grain twice a day, they always have hay, and they can graze on the farm at their leisure. The are very low maintenance and easily manageable.”
The two bulls are named Smitty and Abe; the four heifers are named Thelma, Claire, Ida, and Lulu.
“These animals are loving, docile, personable, and very, very friendly,” said Kristina Sanders. “Just like mini-donkeys and mini-horses. Their demeanor and even-temper make them great for pets so we plan on breeding them for that purpose.”
The mini-cows will make an appearance at the 2007 Clermont County Fair. Kristina Sanders, who owns the Face, Body, and Soul skin care salon in Amelia, feels that it is important to share these adorable animals with the community.
If you would like to spend time with the miniature-cows or find out more information, call the Amelia Locust Knoll Farm.