written by Michelle-a normal amish girl
A lot of time has been spent on Cinnamon Hill Miniature Herefords in the past few weeks. Between phone calls to the American Hereford Association and answering emails and such from the ads I have out, I have talked a lot of beef lately! It’s usually like this every year so I don’t know why I’m surprised. The cattle take care of themselves for the most part until they calve then in swoops the humans to steal away their offspring. Cruel, huh?
I first saw Mini Herefords online back in 2011 or somewhere in there. For some reason I just fell in love with their cute little faces and fuzzy, chubby legs. I think that I may have romanticized them a bit in my mind. The pictures I saw showed the owners holding the calves and the calves had these cutesy little halters on and oh, I was in love! So, I started searching for a place to buy MH cattle. The first ones that I found were the ones with the fantastic blood lines and were show quality. Some of them were priced at thousands of dollars!! My big bubble kind of burst at what I found but I still searched once in a while and I asked around to see if anyone in the area knew of any close by.
Finally I put the word out to the right guy! A friend of mine called one day and said that his grandpa had some friends that were looking to sell their minis. They only lived half an hour to forty-five minutes north of us. I had Dad go with me and we went to look at them before I bought them. There were two cows and each cow had a calf with them and were also carrying a calf due in a few months plus they were all registered. I got a pretty decent deal because I bought all four of them.
I became the owner of Pecan, Sweet Pea, Trixie and Tanner in April of 2012 and was the start of my very own amish acres. I sold Tanner to a family in Kentucky but kept the other three. That was the start of my herd of registered Miniature Herefords! I didn’t really know much about cattle but I learned that they are definitely different from horses because generally:
- They smell worse.
- They are more hearty.
- They take longer to give birth.
- They smell much worse.
- They are pushy.
- They can be a stubborn bunch.
- They are not going to be chased in a normal way.
- Oh, and they smell bad…almost all of the time.
In July of 2012, each cow had a bull calf. It was so hot that summer and I was convinced those calves were going to die. I don’t know how many trips I made to the fields to see where they were and how they were doing. The mommies would actually take them and hide them back along the railroad in a brushy area. They were cool and hidden. Never think that God didn’t know what He was doing when He created the earth and the animals! They are very smart if we just let them be!
I registered them as Sweet William (Sweet Pea is a flower right? Hence the Sweet William…also a flower?) and Phil Bert (Pecan’s calf was the nut filbert…get it???). There was meaning to the naming and I put a lot of thought into it! They were so cute and they made a perfect pair.
They would get under the fence and come into the yard to lay in the flower beds. Who needs plastic pink flamingos when you can have red mini bulls?? And about those little halters and holding the cute little calves? Didn’t happen. They aren’t born with halters and I didn’t have the persistence to halter-break them. And as far as holding them? Nah. When I did carry them, they weren’t thrilled…at all.
These two ended up moving to Georgia to a farm where they are used as a team in competitions and such. I still keep in touch with the owner to see how they are doing. They were also in two movies! (I doubt they had any leading roles but still fun to know.) One day I had waaaaaayyyyy too much time on my hands so I made a little tribute to them. (By the way, they didn’t literally go to Hollywood..that’s meant figuratively.) Here’s the link to watch the video I made.
One year I had a bull here that was actually the sire of Trixie and Tanner. I separated out Pecan and Sweet Pea to put them in a field with the bull. Little Miss Trixie got through the fence one night and well nine months later she gave birth to her daughter/half-sister, Ellie. I sometimes refer to her as Accidental Ellie. She was so tiny and cute! I think she measured around 21″ when she was born. She is still on the small side and she has the cutest calves.
Trixie also had a calf one year that was born blind. I have no idea what the cause was. It’s not uncommon according to what I found online and can come from a variety of things. He needed extra help and we were putting him in the barn every night for a while. Eventually we just let him out all night with the other cows and he did really good getting up to the barn. There were a few times he got disoriented and would just start turning circles but he figured it out. I ended up selling him to someone who wanted to put him with another calf but last I heard he was moved to a petting zoo.
I highly enjoy raising cattle and this year I have four calves here so I guess my herd doubled! I would definitely consider having more but maybe trying to have different types of mini breeds. Who knows? Maybe when I grow up I will be a cattle farmer (aka amish acres.)
Today‘s author is Michelle Schwartz, the owner of “The Spice Shack” which is a small, home-based business that specializes in bulk spices, medicinal herbs, and loose leaf teas. Check out her online store at www.thespiceshack.org. Michelle enjoys her family, farm life, anything outdoors, and running her shop. She also raises Miniature Hereford cattle as a hobby. We are honored for the opportunity to work with Michelle! Thank you Michelle!