Miniature Livestock: Think Small


Sue WeaverLike many little girls, I loved horses. I galloped and whinnied, doodled ponies on my homework and scorned Barbie (give me Breyer horses instead!). At 12 I bought my first horse and financed his keep through babysitting and peddling wild blackberries door to door. As life progressed I bred horses, trained them, gave lessons, wrote about them as a freelance writer and studied them in depth. They were my life.

Then we moved from East Central Minnesota (bringing along 12 horses, mostly decrepit rescues) to the southern Ozarks, where one day I spied a business card on a café bulletin board. A nearby breeder had miniature horses for sale. We’d bred miniature donkeys in Minnesota and really liked them, so we decided to take a look.

Chessie and Kiaya, American Miniature Horse Registry miniature mares

The die was cast. Before the month was out I owned a cob-type miniature stallion and two mares. Eight years later we have a few surviving full-size horses that will stay until departing for horse heaven, but now I like the little ones better.

So in 2003, when I decided to fulfill a dream and own sheep, I opted for a pint-size breed. Dumb luck led me to a woman dispersing her flock of arguably the best Miniature Cheviots in America. I started with her foundation ewe and a gorgeous ram lamb. Now I raise them, I’m a co-founder of the American Classic Cheviot Sheep Association and have 24 of these great little sheep.

Wolf Moon Wren, Classic Cheviot

Rodeo Princess
2/26/2010 3:59:16 PM

I have been trying to talk my daughter-in-law (who is now managing our barn, now that I am old and fragile) into getting some miniature cattle. I will forward your article to her, and maybe give her a copy of your book for her birthday! We have eight acres, and I can see that this would be a really good use of it.

Hank Will_2
2/25/2010 9:23:22 AM

Welcome, Sue. I have your book at home and love it.

Mountain Woman
2/24/2010 3:49:53 PM

I enjoyed your article. I'm adding mini livestock to our farm in the next couple of months in the form of miniature donkeys and horses. Next year, Nigerian dwarf goats and lowline cattle.

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