Both of our miniatures came to us 'unhandled'. It took no time at all to halter train/lead train the heifer - she was/is very outgoing. Our bull is STILL a work-in-progress. Halter training him was a snap, but he is not fond of lead training. Time and patience, as mentioned, work great. I, myself, try hard to NOT use grain. If I walk in the pasture (or field, if she's out) with Ice Creams lead, she comes right over to me. I think I would ask for a look at the vet records, so your honey can see that every seems OK.
Having the ability to breed your cow, as Bee commented on, is HUGE. We never gave it a thought, until Ice Cream 'came of age'. After a month of searching for a bull SMALL enough for her, we gave up and decided to AI. Yeah. Couldn't find a vet anywhere that was willing to do it! Her size prevents it. :/ Eventually, we set up a deal with the man we bought her from - 3 1/2 hours away - to use his 'extra' bull, once he got him back from someone who borrowed him - out of state. He called yesterday Miniatures MUST deliver in the Spring - their calves are TINY, excessive heat or cold will surely kill them. So, we are pretty sure Little Man did his job, and will take her in to confirm/deny but, if he didn't, she will be a pasture ornament until our next 'window of opportunity' (and, they are being separated this next week, so no Uh-oh's happen!)
(I have kept quiet to this point because I don't have Dexter's or Zebu's, so couldn't offer any info. Now, things have come up that I can contribute to )
the dexter cow should be very easy to tame down the breed is well known for its docility, you may not even need the stanchion...
the zebus are a little more..antsy...but being young i doubt youd have any issues with her either.
the bull issue IS going to be a nessicary consideration for you guys.
Dexters are natrually small, they were bred to be HARDY and "delicate" calves would be a big no no in the breed, this bred was develops to be very very very self reliant, they were left in with the bull year round, calved and raised without any assistance, they should be no more delicate than any larger bred (cant say the same for the "mini milkers" which are bred down/miniturized versions of larger breeds (kind of the genetic equivalent of "teacup" they take the smallest and breed them together and this CAN produce some weakend genetics depending on the lines..) but i do know with dexters they should be very hardy calves) but you still woudnt want to be breeding her to a full sized bull, and pure blood zebu and dexters are both expensive...even the mini mixes tend to be a little pricey for my blood...
Id personally look for a purebred dexter or dexter mix to go with them...unless you know someone with small cows in the vicinity whos bull service you could borrow.
I'd wanted to go look at them last Friday or Saturday but was sick. Sick like curled up in bed for 48 hours sick. Btw, the onion and garlic in honey thing works a treat!
So, haven't followed up. Don't even know if they're still available. Other things kinda been going on, so I'll contact them later this week to see if they still have them. If they do.........well, they'll probably take less, right? If not, well, it sounds nice but something else will come up.
Lots of folks around here seem to have Dexters. The family I currently buy milk from has Dexters and mini Jerseys. I know there are local folks who hire out for AI, haven't looked into reputations/references or anything yet, but know they're around.
I've always really wanted a Jersey milk cow, but face it.........what on earth would I do with five gallons of milk a day? So my plan would be to AI her to a mini jersey and hope for a heifer, planning for that to be my keeper milk cow. The current Zebu/Dexter would probably go for butcher or resale.
But it's all just dreamin' right now, we'll see later this week. Thanks for all the info!
Edited after looking at Craigslist.......or, I could buy my own bull! Look how cute!! Okay, the pic didn't copy, here's the link.....
This miniature bull is for sale. He is out of a miniatue longhorn cow & bull he was born 4- 4- 2011 he is 37 1/2 in tall He would make a nice herd sire in raising your own small hred. These cattle are just the right size to feed a family of 4 & are much easier to deal with. We keep our small herd as pets, but must part with some. We are asking 900.00 for this bull calf.
He's cute, but those stubby legs just look all wrong to me. Maybe not.
Well, I'd set up an appointment to go look at them tomorrow, but after more discussion with my honey he's asked me to hold off. He feels we're just not in a right place to add a cow. So, if anyone else in Southern Oregon wants to look, I've got contact info! They sure seem like a nice deal, and since the seller's have had a hard time selling I'm sure they'd take less.