They’re cute, they’re fluffy, and they’re adorable little beefcakes—they’re miniature cows. People are now starting to look at mini cows as one of the newest pets on the block, and rightfully so. They’re capable of thriving in areas where a typical cow won’t, with some even spending time indoors.
Can you house train a miniature cow? Though you might’ve watched viral videos of miniature cows running through homes, it’s not really possible to reliably house train a mini cow. Because they are resistant to paper training, mini cows do not belong inside a house.
There are many important things to consider when you’re thinking about getting a mini cow for your home or ranch. This article will tell you the full details of what it means to try to house train one, and why so many people advise against it.
Can You House Train A Miniature Cow?
Though there have been one or two special cases where professional trainers were able to get a mini cow to be house trained, the truth is that cows are not capable of being house trained. A typical cow (mini or not) poops between 10 to 15 times per day and urinates 10 times per day.
By sheer numbers alone, that adds up to a serious amount of cleanup for homeowners who want a house-bound cow. When you pair that with cows’ resistance to potty training, you end up with a recipe for disaster.
Why Can You Train A Mini Cow To Come Over, But Not House Train Them?
Cows are not dumb creatures. When it comes to matters like coming over when called, running fitness courses, or similar matters, they can be trained. However, training a cow to walk somewhere isn’t the same as training a cow to master its own biological processes.
Truth be told, there haven’t been many studies on why a cow can’t be potty trained. One could theorize that it has to do with going against the cow’s instincts or something along similar lines.
Understanding Non-Denning Animals
Studies have shown that there are two main types of animals when it comes to potty training: denning and non-denning animals.
- Denning animals are species that have their own “homes,” and they tend to be easier to potty train. After all, they rarely ever choose to go to the bathroom in their own dens in nature.
- Non-denning animals, such as cows, do not have their own dens. Since they are free-roaming, these animals never developed a need to have a special area where they poop. This, in turn, makes house training remarkably difficult.
Is Potty Training A Cow Possible at All?
Potentially, yes, but there’s an issue. The only way a researcher has successfully been able to potty train a cow is through a reward system, paired with special stimulating technology that encourages cows to urinate.
This article describes research underway in New Zealand. Scientists are testing new methods to potty train cows. So far, the research is still underway and is only being done on a handful of Jersey cows. That said, it’s safe to assume that if they come up with a way to potty train cows, it will be a while before we know if it will work on more than a handful of Jersey cows.
Can Cows Feel Comfortable in A Home?
While it’s possible to place a cow inside a house and keep it comfortable, the truth is that this isn’t something that is heavily recorded. People who have found cows inside their homes usually are shocked at the amount of destruction they can wreak.
The Metro reported that cows broke into an unoccupied home and made it their own place for about a month. When the family who bought the home came to move in, the home was entirely filled with fecal matter.
Have People Tried to Potty Train Cows Before?
The amount of waste that cows produce has been a concern of the farming industry for ages. Too much waste cleanup, high levels of unsanitary feces, and other issues caused farms to struggle with both food quality and work environment.
Because of these issues, farmers have repeatedly tried to train cows to go in a certain corner of a barn or near a lake to poop. It’s been a matter that has been tried over and over again for decades in the modern world.
Advice for People Who Want To Try Potty Training A Cow
If you chose to try to potty train a miniature cow, you definitely have your work cut out for you. Most typical housetraining methods will not work with them. However, there has been some scant evidence that rewarding them can convince them to poop in a specific location.
Potty training a cow, if it’s even doable, would take months of patient and tedious work. Do not attempt it if you aren’t ready to take on that level of work.
Why Can’t Miniature Cows Be Easily House Trained?
It’s a known fact that miniature cows have a disposition that would make them great family pets. They’re quiet. They’re not aggressive. They’re friendly, too. Even with all of those perks, the matter of housetraining just isn’t that easy for most people.
There are multiple reasons why they aren’t easy to train. These include:
- Bathroom Habits. A cow goes to the bathroom extremely frequently compared to a dog or a cat. This means they will need constant monitoring while they learn, not to mention constant clean up. Even if you were to leave a mini cow in your home for a while, there’s no saying that you’d want to. The maintenance would be too much!
- Resistance to Training Techniques. You can only train an animal if it responds to training techniques. Researchers have repeatedly tried to get cows to undergo training using methods from gentle corralling to electric shocks. Nothing worked.
- Effort. It takes a ridiculous amount of effort to successfully potty train a cow, and it’s never guaranteed to succeed. Cows are remarkably strong-willed critters!
Can You Make A Cow Go to The Bathroom On Command?
After it became clear that house training (or potty training) cows wasn’t going to happen, a group of researchers attempted to get cows to go to the bathroom on command by exposing them to different stimuli.
They tried dipping the cows’ feet in water, exposing them to cold air, and other similar actions. Unfortunately, none of the methods work. When cows need to go to the bathroom, they’ll go. Otherwise, it’s just not going to happen.
Can Trying to House Train A Cow Get Dangerous?
Believe it or not, trying to house train a mini cow can get dangerous. Though they are cute and tiny compared to standard cows, miniature cows still weigh hundreds of pounds. An animal that weighs over 200 pounds can do a lot of damage if it gets irate.
Researchers at Colorado State University note that training sessions involving cattle need to be kept short due to the risk of getting cows agitated. Should cows become too quick to anger, there is a chance they could act out by kicking.
Can You Keep A Mini Cow Indoors?
Contrary to what viral videos might suggest, the idea of keeping a mini cow inside your hour is a terrible idea. Cows are notorious for needing ample space, even if they’re smaller than your typical bovine buddy.
If you have been considering getting a mini cow as a pet, make sure you have a decent-sized back yard for them to live in. Trying to keep them pent up at home is just not smart. Here’s why:
- Mini cows cannot be house trained. Even if they could be house trained, this would require you to lead them out the door nine to 16 times a day. That’s a lot of work for a single pet owner to deal with.
- Cow droppings are a health hazard. If you were hoping to keep your cow potty-trained in your kitchen, think again. Being exposed to high levels of droppings can increase your chances of diseases like E.coli, as well as irritate your lungs and eyes.
- Even if you had a housetrained miniature cow, there’s no guarantee you’d be able to deal with the cow’s clumsiness. Cows won’t be able to tell when they’re being too boisterous. One good knock from a cow would be more than enough weight to break certain pieces of furniture as well as precious vases.
- Their hooves can pose a risk for flooring. Some people occasionally bring mini cows into their homes, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for their flooring. These 500-pound animals have hooves that can scratch wooden floors, or worse, break parts of weak flooring.
If having a mini cow live in your home sounds like a nightmare, that’s because it is. A house is not a place to keep a cow, even if it’s much smaller than a typical cow would be.
How Should You House A Mini Cow?
Miniature cows aren’t too different from a typical cow. They do best in larger yards, with a small barn. To ensure that cow droppings aren’t a big issue, it can also help to have a small pond in your pasture.
The big difference between mini cows and regular cows is the amount of space you would need for them to be comfortably housed. A typical cow will need at least half an acre to feel comfortable. A miniature cow, on the other hand, can fit in a standard half acre.
How Much Space Does A Mini Cow Need?
According to experts on the matter, you can fit two miniature cattle on a single acre. That means a typical owner can expect to safely house one miniature cow per half acre. It’s worth noting that you still will need a small shelter for your cow, as they are not entirely weather-hardy animals.
Depending on how small the lot is, a cow might become distressed and begin to act out as a result of the close quarters. Unless you want an aggressive cow on your hands, you’ll give them the space they need to feel comfortable.
Can You Own Just One Cow?
Knowing the amount of room that you will need, it’s common to wonder if you can just stick to a single miniature cow. The truth is that you can have a single cow if you want to. However, it’s not advisable. Cows are social animals. They can get lonely if they don’t have another bovine buddy around them.
Are Miniature Cows A Good Pet Choice for You?
It’s clear that owning a miniature cow isn’t the same as owning a cat or a dog. If you were hoping for an apartment-friendly cow breed, this isn’t it. People who would be decent miniature cow owners are:
- Healthy individuals capable of working with large animals. Don’t let the name fool you. A mini cow is still 500 to 700 pounds.
- Homeowners with at least half an acre of land. This is not an indoor animal, and the space restrictions can’t be lessened. Cows that are kept on smaller plots of land will not be happy and may become agitated as a result of their surroundings.
- Folks who have prior experience raising cattle and farm animals. If you have only experienced raising a dog or a cat, a farm animal like a mini cow is not going to be a good choice. It’s a completely different experience and shouldn’t be attempted unless you’re willing to take time to learn about caring for cattle before you get one.
- Farmers who want to have cows that can eat regular grass. Concentrated food is not necessary. Their hooves are also easier on grass pastures than their bulkier counterparts, making them decent choices for homeowners who care for their lawns.
- People who have some spare time during the day. A typical miniature cow owner will spend this amount of time taking care of their new pets.
- You can afford a typical cow’s feed costs. It is surprising how much cows can eat. While they can graze on grass, it’s best to budget a minimum of $150 for your pint-sized cow’s diet.
- You are fine with paying extra for a smaller sized cow. A typical, full-sized cow will cost anywhere between $500 to $700. Because they’re rarer and are only found in specialty breeding groups, you can expect to pay $1000 to $1600, depending on where you go and the gender of your cow.
Do Miniature Cows Make Good Pets?
Most miniature cows that are sold are not bought for meat purposes. Rather, they are bought as companion animals or as pets. Miniature cows, when cared for and loved, can be amazingly affectionate and high-spirited pets.
Many families find that mini cows are a good way to introduce children to farming since the animals are smaller and friendlier. Besides, who wouldn’t want a cute, cuddly little cow of their own?
Can You Use Miniature Cows for Milk and Meat?
Yes, and they are more efficient for meat production than a typical cow. You can use the same amount of space to raise ten miniature cows or two full-sized cattle. If you have ten mini cows, you’ll get double the amount of meat that two full-sized cattle would make. That’s a lot of beef!
Farmers say that the meat from miniature cows is indistinguishable in taste from the meat derived from a standard-sized cow. So, in terms of quality, there’s no sacrifice. Some ranchers are now beginning to consider switching over to the mini side entirely as a result.
Is it Legal to Have Mini Cows?
Miniature cows are legal to own throughout all 50 states, since they’re considered to be farm animals. Many states also offer tax write-offs for small farmers who own them, since it shows an interest in farming.
Though they are legal to own on a statewide and federal level, mini cows still might be illegal in certain municipalities. If you are unsure of the legality of owning a mini cow, check local laws about cattle.
Obviously, apartment buildings, condo complexes, and most house rental agencies will not allow residents to own a mini cow. We cannot emphasize the importance of owning your own land.
Are Miniature Cows House Trainable?
Though there’s a very slim chance you might be able to get your miniature cow to be potty trained, the truth is that trying to house train a cow is not really doable. Scientists still haven’t found a foolproof way to do it, which means casual pet owners probably won’t either.
If you are considering getting a miniature cow as a pet, remember the strict requirements these fluffy animals have. They need wide, open spaces and ample amounts of food. If you don’t have at least half an acre of yard space, owning a mini cow isn’t a wise choice.