Miniature Animals

Discussion in 'Other Pets' started by redsticker, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. redsticker

    redsticker Member

    May 7, 2009
    SE Louisiana
    So now I know enough about Nigerian Dwarfs to have fallen in love with them and I've always loved Shetlands. (I know minis are mini-er but if you can't ride it, what's the use?) ;) But lately I've been reading about miniature cattle and bantam chickens and then today on a whim I picked an animal at random and put mini in front of it and bam, miniature llamas! (Though they didn't have pictures to show how mini compared to regular llamas...)

    I was just wondering, what other mini farm (or exotic) animals are out there? Does anyone have any experience with them?

    Which ones are actually useful, healthy animals and which ones are just messing with nature?

    We only have 8 acres, some of which aren't even usable all year around (they flood), we have small children and we're new to farming so the idea of having small, easy to handle animals that still provide for the farm is one that sounds about right to us.
  2. TinyHoovesRanch

    TinyHoovesRanch New Member

    I have Alpacas! They are like llamas, only smaller and friendlier! Mine are super sweet and LOVE my goats! They dont "protect" But they do watch over our goats. And they are fairly inexpensive

  3. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    I have 1 bantam hen and I HATE her - she aint good for nothin but screaming constantly and picking on my turkeys, which I have heard is typical of Banties. Although I did hear that they are good brooders. She lays an egg every day or every other day - but you need 2-3 to equal 1 regular egg.
  4. Idahodreamer

    Idahodreamer Senior Member

    Omgosh---Banties. The memories of my grandma's banties are enough to give a person NIGHTMARES.
    Nasty little devils.
  5. redsticker

    redsticker Member

    May 7, 2009
    SE Louisiana
    Lol, chickens I think are the only thing I don't want mini. I would think it's too much work to try to eat a bantam and I've heard their eggs are smaller. We were thinking Orpingtons, Barred Rocks and Black Australorps which I'm told are all pretty big for chickens. But they're supposed to be gentle.

    Everything else can be small though, as long as it's still useful. ;)

    Alpacas are used for fiber, right? What do you do with it? Spin it yourself or sell it? Or are they just pets, livestock "watchers"? I've always been curious because so many people have them! ;)
  6. TinyHoovesRanch

    TinyHoovesRanch New Member

    Ya, you make good money off the fiber! I am learning to spin and dye it myself, but you can have other people do it for you or just sell it raw

    When the dogs go in the goat pen the alpacas spit and kick, so they will try to defend but because they are smaller and not at strong they arent the best protecters. When we take a goat out the alpacas freak lol

    They are GREAT pets but you have to have at least2
  7. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    yup, dont like the banties. Australorps are the way to go, I got an order of Golden Comets- which are a sex link hybrid and theyre very gentle and good layers also.
  8. redsticker

    redsticker Member

    May 7, 2009
    SE Louisiana
    Wow, I'll have to look into alpacas! They sure are cute!

    I like the fact that those chicken breeds are dual purpose, though we'll probably only use them for eggs.

    I was reading about dwarf bunnies today... and they said the netherland was the smallest but the holland lop was the gentlest. But I guess they're really only good as pets. Which is ok, for bunnies. ;) My kids want a couple so bad.
  9. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    Ewww...yeah, used to have a few banty chickens, those were nasty little things! We had a banty rooster that was so aggressive, you couldn't be near him or he would attack your legs...ouch! We did have some beautiful big laying hens that were a gold color, I have no idea what they were, but very consistent layers and a sweet, docile nature.

    I think those baby doll sheep are adorable and mini zebu cattle are pretty neat looking. My friend has a small herd of them and they seem really sweet. Very neat little cattle.
  10. redsticker

    redsticker Member

    May 7, 2009
    SE Louisiana
    I was thinking a tiny little herd of beef cattle would be great, a bull and two heifers, until I realized how expensive they are! It'd be at least $10,000 just for three! Oh well... the zebu are super cute though!
  11. ecologystudent

    ecologystudent New Member

    May 29, 2009
    Lacey, wa
    I find it amazing that people have had such negative experience with banties! My mom has the sweetest little hens, they eat out of her hands, ride on your arm, and make wonderful mothers. Ah well, individual experiences, eh.

    I've heard of mini sheep and cows, and my family has kept both. The sheep was actually my sisters, can't remember what breed it was, but it was supposed to have very fine wool and good tasting meat, as well as the multi-birth factor like nigirians. We had dexter cattle growing up, and some of them were right old meanies, or "spirited" as some people like to say, but some were sweet hearts.

    There are also bantam ducks- thought I've heard they are loud.
  12. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    most rabbits are small.. and if you want something mulit purpose.. MInisatins are the way to go.. 3-4 pounds, they grow fast ( meat!) fur, large litters, and still easy to manage

    i am bunny queen!! lol
  13. Crissa

    Crissa New Member

    Oct 7, 2007
    Cashion, Oklahoma
    I love the bantam chickens! lol My boyfriend had a black rooster that would sit on my shoulder for HOURS. He loved to be petted. Stupid dog ate him.
  14. myfainters

    myfainters New Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Lancaster, CA
    Miniature pigs. My mom has the Kune-Kunes, they are pretty cute. :)
  15. kids-n-peeps

    kids-n-peeps New Member

    Aug 24, 2009
    We have three bantam Wheaten Ameraucanas. They have great little personalities. In fact, when working in the chicken area last summer, the one wheaten hen followed us all around watching us paint the henhouse, hammer boards, etc. It freaked all the other chickens out, but she found it fascinating. I'm sure certain breeds are friendlier than others (in general). However, I must say the banty eggs are pretty small and our full size Ameraucanas lay much more regularly!
  16. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Member

    Oct 19, 2009
    I've never owned a bantam because I can't justify spending roughly the same amount of money only to need 3x the eggs to cook with. lol I'd think they're for the small urban homesteader, where space requirements are really an issue.

    I've had Black Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Easter Eggers and Black Ameraucanas. They all lay relatively well. In good weather, I usually get 6 eggs a week from each hen. This winter has seriously dampened that. I get maybe 4 eggs a day from 11 laying hens. I cannot wait to set another hatch and/or order some new chicks :D I'd skip the banties and get standard sized chickens. My Buff's are the most friendly birds ever. They come running like I'm the pied piper when I call them. lol
  17. redsticker

    redsticker Member

    May 7, 2009
    SE Louisiana
    I'll have to see if anyone has mini-satins around here... my kids want bunnies really bad. I think the youngest just want cute pets but my 10yo wants to raise rabbits as his own little project.
  18. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    I used to pooh-pooh banties but then when my favorite chicken (a Barred Rock) died they were the only thing available at the feed store, so.... I bought like 8. They are entirely useless, but they're friendly and easy for kids to handle -- good "eye candy" and petting animals for farm visitors.

    I have miniature sheep -- Babydoll Southdowns. I love them. They're actually a really old breed and the standard Southdown was bred UP from the babydolls, not the other way around. They're really hardy and when there's grass in the pasture I really don't have to do anything for them... much less demanding than goats!! They do tend to have multiples and they're easy to handle. Only downside is that they're not a hair sheep breed, so you have to pay someone to shear them, and unless you're a spinner and can make your own stuff, you can't sell the wool you have to give it away!
  19. logansmommy7

    logansmommy7 New Member

    Nov 11, 2009
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    YES-Golden Comets are good-I have five of them...they are excellent layers, even through cold weather when others stop. AND-they are NICE girls...seems to be a consistent variety of chicken!
  20. logansmommy7

    logansmommy7 New Member

    Nov 11, 2009
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    I really want some Buffs...I have always heard the best things about them!