STATUS IN THE WILD: Domesticated
RANGE: Sub-Sahara Africa and Asia
PHYSICAL FEATURES AND CHARACTERISTICS
Miniature zebu cattle are one of the smallest breeds of cattle on earth. They are a naturally occurring miniature breed, not created from human selective breeding. Adults stand thirty-four to forty-two inches tall at the shoulders and average two hundred to four hundred forty pounds, although bulls can weigh upwards of six hundred pounds. Colors can be found in various shades of red, gray, and black, sometimes in a mottled pattern. There is a distinctive fatty hump on the shoulders, large horns (both males and females), and large, floppy ears. Their loose skin helps regulate body temperature; having a higher number of sweat glands also enables them to tolerate extreme heat.
LIFESTYLE AND REPRODUCTION
Zebus are considered sexually mature around three and a half years of age. Gestation is approximately 285 days. Cows give birth to a single calf weighing about eighteen to twenty-two pounds. Because of the zebu’s hardiness and resistance to diseases and parasites, the average life span is twenty to twenty-five years. Zebus are social animals and live in herds.
Native to Sub-Sahara Africa and Asia, they are now also found in North America and South America.
The zebu is equally at home in tropical jungles and open grasslands.
They thrive on a simple diet of grass, seeds, and flowers.