By Ben Radstein, staff reporter

You may remember Vietnamese pot-belly pigs, which were all the rage in the 1990s. For a time everyone just had to have one. Dogs and cats were going out of style. That craze may pale in comparison to the latest one: miniature cows.

miniature cowThe pet of the decade was actually discovered in the nineteenth century in the Galapagos Islands, but they never became as famous as the giant tortoises. Recently, farmers looking for a replacement for mini pigs have been importing and breeding them. At first they were scarce, but through artificial insemination they are becoming plentiful. This will come as good news for those wishing to adopt one.

"These are loving creatures," says Joseph Ramirez, a rancher from El Cajon California who raises them. "They are docile and even tempered, which makes for perfect pets. As a bonus, they even make drinkable milk." He went on to say that their male counterparts, miniature bulls, can be trained to be better watchdogs than actual canines. "Being charged, knocked over, and speared with the horns of a 'Pequeño Toro' would be a humiliating experience to a would-be burglar. They might even flee upon sight of one."

After speaking to Ramirez, and other ranchers and farmers, I have concluded that miniature cows will likely be under more trees this Christmas morning than puppies and kittens combined. If you would like one, you might look to all the places that used to have pot-belly pigs, or try some of these links.

Mini Cattle Country
Pillard's Miniature Cattle
Hatch Farms
Tanglewood Farm


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