Miniature cows to reduce methane emissions?

In the world there are 26 different varieties of miniature cows, some of them are less than a meter tall, they are like a large dog.

The idea of ​​raising miniature cows is becoming popular on some farms in the United States, and the main reason for raising them is the belief that these tiny ruminants will produce less methane gas, one of the gases that contributes the most to the greenhouse effect.

According to North American farmers consulted by the official BBC English news channel, 10 small cattle produce as much methane like a big one.

What is the purpose of keeping miniature cows?

In addition to having a market in the pet trade, mini cows require less space to raise and have equal or greater productivity than normal-sized cows.

miniature cows

After slaughtering a 450 kg cow, approximately 40% of its weight is lost in bones, head and internal organs. Then about 270 kg of meat suitable for consumption remains from that cow. To then convert it into edible meat, another 20% is lost, so only about 215 kg can be sold on the market, or less than half the original weight.

However, these miniature cows are much less so because they have fewer bones and less fat than a traditional cow.

The so-called "bonsai cows" sent to the slaughterhouse will lose 30% of their weight, and when turned into edible meat, they will be reduced by another 15%.

Do they taste the same as traditional cows?

Those who have tried these miniature cows say that their meat is even tastier and more tender, because the flavor and texture depend on the length of the muscles: the shorter they are, the tastier the meat will be.

In Uruguay and Argentina, where per capita meat consumption exceeds 58 kg per year, more than in the European Union, this type of exploitation remains practically unknown.

In an interview, the former Vice Minister of Livestock José María Romero had some reservations about the success of such a measure: "I think for our rodeos at the moment it is a fantasy. Although the fermentation vat is reduced, instead of two specimens we have five or six grazing. Dont have much sense. The important thing would be to be more efficient and obtain more kilos for each animal. It is a mistake to think in heads, you have to think in volume obtained". Romero reports that Argentina produces 3,2 million kilograms of edible meat annually on a farm with 54 million animals.

"If it were necessary, to match our current tonnage, to have 100 or 150 million heads of small cows: what is the point of so much effort?"added the former official.

"To reduce methane emissions with the same number of specimens, we must improve the genetics and thus the mileage. Our weaning level is 63%. This means that at least six out of ten cows are retaining calves. We are better than Brazil, but worse than Australia or the United States where weaning rates exceed 70 and 80%, respectively."Romero concluded.

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