Miniature Herefords bring large-scale joy to patrons at the Gidgegannup Small Farm Field Day

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Cally DupeCountryman
Miniature Herefords.
Camera IconMiniature Herefords. Credit: Cally Dupe/Countryman

Miniature Herefords have brought full-scale joy to Waroona breeder Denise Warner, and it’s that joy she hopes to share with others at this year’s Gidgegannup Small Farm Field Day.

Standing a maximum of 121cm tall for a cow and 129cm tall for a bull, the only real difference between the Miniature Herefords and full size Herefords is the fact they are only around two thirds the size of full size Herefords.

They bare the same red coats and white markings as Herefords — or Poll Herefords — and weigh in at about 400 to 500kg for cows and 550 to 650kg for mature males.

Mrs Warner is just one of many Miniature Hereford breeders spread around Australia and her cattle, who are all registered with Herefords Australia and Certified as Miniatures with the Australian Miniature Hereford Cattle Association are happily enjoying life at her Waroona property, 110km south of Perth.

A Miniature Hereford calf.
Camera IconA Miniature Hereford calf. Credit: Cally Dupe/Countryman

Mrs Warner said Miniature Herefords are a great choice for adults and children as pets because they are docile, easy to handle and can double as the “perfect grass eater” for those that have small landholdings.

She and her late husband Len started breeding Miniature Herefords about 16 years ago after purchasing cattle from an establishment herd in South Australia that included three cows from the original shipment of Miniature Herefords that came from Canada to Australia back in 1997.

They sent two cows and calves to Ms Warner’s sister’s property at Long Flat, near Port Macquarie.

These days, Mrs Warner and her sister run a very successful stud together and share their passion for the breed with each other and others that are interested.

Mrs Warner runs about 70 head consisting of Miniatures and Hereford females which form part of a breeding down program to attain miniature status at her stud at Waroona.

For the past 14 years, Mrs Warner has made the 146km journey to attend the Gidgegannup Small Farm Field Day to showcase the breed and give the public the chance to see them first hand.

Mrs Warner describes the trip to Gidgegannup as a full day of “madness” – but she loves it.

“It is non-stop all day of being asked ‘can we pat? It is about people having connection with animals along with hundreds of questions – and answers.

“And to be honest, the animals get as much out of it as the humans do.”

Miniature Herefords.
Camera IconMiniature Herefords. Credit: Cally Dupe/Countryman

There are two calving periods at Paragon, with the main one being around March/April and a smaller one in August.

Mrs Warner said Miniature Hereford steers in particular were the perfect pet for small landholders, with a “queue” of people waiting to purchase this year’s drop.

She also feels a responsibility to the animals to, as much as possible, sell her cattle to people she believes will be best placed to look after them, and always requests people travel to her property where they can usually observe the adult size of the parents prior to purchase.

Paragon Miniature Herefords will be in the Cattle Yards at this year’s Gidgegannup Small Farms Field Day, with Mrs Warner on hand to answer questions from those keen to find out more about the breed.

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