As you know I love my animals and they are a lot of inspiration behind my crafts. So, I am going to do a series called "My Precious Pets", each telling the story of each pet. I hope you come to love these guys as much as I do...
Enjoying the shade on this hot summer day.
What is a miniature Zebu? They are small cattle, which originated in India. Pulling carts, plows, and being ridden were a few of their uses. The most recognized characteristics are the humps on their shoulders and the dewlap on their chest. Although other miniature cattle have been bred to be sized down, the Zebus are just small.
We have two miniature Zebu, Chief and Lily. This story is more about Lily because she is one of my pets that I'm able to pet, brush, and love on. While Chief is not an aggressive bull, he doesn't like being handled either.
The story of Lily started in 1999. My husband, Terry and I had a side business of doing pony rides and petting zoo for birthday parties and events. I was always on the lookout for unusual but not exotic animals to use in the petting zoo. Of course, being miniature was an added bonus. I discovered the miniature Zebu breed while searching for miniature cattle on line. I found a breeder in Swainsboro, Ga, so we took a 4 hour (1 way) drive to see what he had. He had a nice herd of about 12 animals. All healthy, small, and beautiful, but not friendly. When I say friendly, I don't mean they were unfriendly, they just hadn't been handled the way we wanted. Our plan was to purchase a pregnant cow and then raise her calf for our petting zoo. So we purchase cow #43. She was the least afraid of us and the closest to giving birth. It was difficult to load her on our trailer because when she was afraid, she would lie down. You have to know, while these cattle are not large, they are still 300-500 lbs. and moving one that doesn't want to be moved is not easy task. After much tugging and pushing, we finally got her loaded and home we went. We had the task of pushing and pulling her to get her off the trailer and into the quarantine stall. Six months later, on June 4, 2000, cow #43 gave birth to the most beautiful calf I have ever seen.
Aaron was 6 months old when Lily was born.
Cow #43 with our precious little Lily.
Lily hanging out with the Silkies.
Although Zebu come in many colors today, the most common color ranges from black to light grey. The calves are born light brown and change as they get older. Miss Lily had the most beautiful big brown eyes with the longest eyelashes I had ever seen. She looked like a baby dear in the face. She was small enough, about 40-50 lbs., to be held. We handled her everyday to desensitize her to being petted and people. Her mother didn't mind as long as we didn't try to touch her.
Chief lying around chewing his cud.
Lily at 11 years old.
Being hand-raised, she is super gentle, but can be a little moody. That may be a female thing...lol. She lets me do anything with her, but doesn't cooperate with my husband so easily. She was always very gentle with the kids in the petting zoo. As she grew, we had to build her a separate enclosure because she would beat up my Pygmy goats.
Chief, Lily, and Jazzy.
Chief and Lily will spend the rest of their days laying under the trees in our front pasture.
I have to add this song just for entertainment purposes. I hope you get a good laugh.
Silly Song With Larry