?What are Zebu

Zebu are cattle that are originally from the jungles of South Asia.  They adapt very well to warm weather unlike other breeds of cattle.  Their smaller size is thought to be one of the reasons they do so well in warm climates. They are “known” for their unique characteristic of a hump on its upper back, located right behind their head and neck.

The Zebu is one of the smallest species of cattle in the world.  An adult Zebu should not exceed 42 inches when measured right behind the hump.

Zebu are a nice manageable size of cattle and used for lighter agricultural work.  Zebu can also be used as a meat animal in some areas.  In India, where the Zebu have been thought to be where they originated, they are a holy animal.

Zebu are some very hardy and healthy cattle, being both parasite and disease resistant  which is another reason they are sought after. 

The calves of Zebu are just adorable and you do not know what you are missing if you have not seen one in person.  Zebu are also used in the show ring and often handled in 4H by youngsters.

Please view our members list to find a Zebu breeder near you and contact them for a visit so you can see just how amazing these little creatures are.


Miniature Zebu Cattle are slow to mature--the smaller the animals, the older they are when they first breed.  For more information on Miniature Zebu cattle, visit our ABOUT ZEBU TAB and visit a breeder near you.

If you have never seen a newborn Miniature Zebu calf, you don't know what you are missing.  They are so darn cute, almost fawn-like.  They will steal your heart.  Miniature Zebu are slow to mature.  It seems the smaller the animals, the older they are when they first breed.  They are a hardy breed and have a high resistance to disease.  Miniature Zebu are a tropical breed and handle the heat very well.  In fact, the hotter it is, the better they seem to like it.  As far as the cold weather, they would much rather stay in the barn.  As long as you furnish them with proper housing in the winter months, they will do fine.  Nothing definite is known as to the ancestry or original habitat of Zebu cattle.  However, Zebu cattle are known to be one of the oldest breeds of cattle, possible dating back as far as 6000 B.C.  In Southern India, which is one of the principal cattle-raising districts of all India, there exists cattle known as "Nadudana" or small cattle.  A few of these were imported in the 1920's for zoological gardens in the country. 

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Breed Standards

The traits which constitute "standards" for the Miniature Zebu, we lean heavily on the standards which evolved during the development of this breed for the past 100 years here in the United States.  Therefore, in general terms, our standards are as follows:1

Head:  Moderately long coffin-shaped skull, orbital arches not prominent, slightly convex in profile.  Forehead prominent.

Horns:  Relatively short-horned (12") curving outwards and upwards, although down-swept is seen.

Ears:  Pointed, non-pendulous or even held upright.  Usually less than 9".

Eyes:  Medium to large, luminous.

Neck:  Strong and fairly long.

Hump:  Large in bulls, but not always highly developed in cows.  Placed just ahead of, or
directly above shoulders.  Upright and firm.

Dewlap:  Moderately developed, free of fleshiness with few folds.
Sheath:  Tight.

Hind Quarters:  General shape above the hock joint is round.  Moderately wide at the pins.

Udder:  Compact, well attached, high with even quarters.  Small to medium length teats.

Tail:  Long and slender, "whiplike" usually set high at rump, extending below hock.
Legs and Feet:  Medium length, well proportioned; strong and somewhat fine-boned. short fetlocks and hard, small hooves with equal halves and small cleft.

Color:  Black, red, spotted or steel gray to almost pure white.  In mature bulls the neck,
shoulders, and hump may be nearly black.

Zebu Articles

Learn more about Zebu below:

This page is dedicated to providing information regarding the care and feeding of Miniature Zebu Cattle.  The information is provided by members and is based on their experiences with the breed.  Remember that what works in one situation may not work in another.  The International Miniature Zebu Association and its officers and Members take no responsibility for any reliance on information provided by authors on this page. 

If you have an idea or system that works for you, share it with the readers of this site.  You may contact the Secretary/Treasurer of the IMZA to have your information posted here or email the webmaster at [email protected]
How to Measure
Gestational Calendar
Bottle Feeding

Click here   for a handy
Gestation Calculator to determine when your miniature zebu calf is due.  Some of our long-time members have found that most miniature zebu cows carry their calves for around 290 days.  This calculator is actually for horses, but it will allow you to plug in the number of days
Miniature Zebu in Austria
Little Cows....
Myth Busted

Miniature Zebu in Austria

By Lonnie Hoover
As printed in the March/April 2007 issue of the Rare Breeds Journal
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Little Cows for Small Farms and Ranches
By Lonnie Hoover
As printed in the November 2007 issue of Rare Breeds Journal
  Click Here

By Lonnie Hoover
As printed in the November 2007 issue of the Rare Breeds Journal
  Click Here
RCP Swede
Zebu Beginning
The Saga of the Winter Calf

The Saga of the Winter Calf

By Cindi Darling

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Miniature Zebu Cattle's Beginning in the USA

By Lonnie Hoover
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RCP Swede &
Four Little Zebu

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Breeding Zebu
Breeding Zebu

Breeding Zebu in the Early Years
by Larry & Judy Rohner
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Breeding Zebu in the Early Years
by Dean Schocker

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