top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much milk will my Dexter produce?
    Dexters are a dual or tri purpose breed. We anticipate a dexter cow will give about a half gallon of milk a day while calf sharing. Some lines of modern Dexter's are giving close to 2 gallons a day.
  • Do I need more than one mini cow?
    Cattle are herd animals and do best with at least one bovine friend. In some circumstances goats can make decent pasture buddies but another bovine is recommended.
  • How big does a mini cow get?
    We use the terms miniature and midsized miniature to discuss size. Rarely do we use micro miniature as a size descriptor. The International Mini Cattle Registry published a frame score card for mini cattle, we may move towards this scoring termination. A miniature cows average size is generally less than 37”- 43” at 3 years of age (frame score 4a-0). A miniature bull could grow closer to 40”-45” (frame score 4a-0). Anything smaller than 37” for cows and 40” for bulls would be considered micro. In comparison angus and other large cattle will grow to be 55-70” tall. All measurements are taken over the back above the hip.
  • How much space do my mini cows need?
    Cows are raised in all sorts of ways. If you are looking to have grass fed cattle, it will require a lot more space than cattle raised in a barnyard or feedlot style. When determining acres per animal in a grazing style it is best to reach out to your local USDA or college agricultural office to determine their formula for cattle and grazing. Each climate will have a different capacity for grazing. In our area we recommend 1 acre per adult bovine with anticipation that hay will be fed from September until May (winter). This presumes that there are going to be a minimum of 4 cattle sharing 4 acres of land. The more you are able to rotationally graze the more pounds of feed you can produce on your land.
  • What is the recommended type of fencing?
    We love 4-5 strands of 12.5g high tensile electric fence. It is the easiest to manipulate once it is up and we find that we have to change fencing around especially as we have grown.
  • How much does it cost to feed mini cows?
    This is a loaded question. It depends on your preferred feeding method, the amount of land you have to grace and how much hay you have to feed. In our farming system we spend approximately $500 per adult bovine a year.
  • What is the recommended age for slaughter of a Traditional and Legacy Irish Dexter?
    We raise Traditional and Legacy Irish Dexters which tend to be smaller framed compared to modern Dexters. We anticipate them to be ready for slaughter at 24-30 months of age.
  • Do you recommend Highland cows be used for meat?
    At this time it is not financially beneficial to send mini Highlands to slaughter. The pet market is still more lucrative than the meat market. It is important that animals that have poor conformation do not go to the breeding market but they still make great pets. We have bred our mini Highlands to produce a fair amount of beef, we would recommend they go to the meat locker at around 30 months.
  • What age can I breed my mini cow?
    We normally recommend non-dwarf heifers be exposed to the bull at 12-15 months. On our farm, we found this is often fruitless for the majority of our girls. It is often best to expose heifers at approximately 2 years of age, for a calf at 3 years of age. Our goal is to have the majority of our calves born in May and June. A heifer born May of 2022 would be introduced to a bull at the earliest the end of July in 2023, we will hold them back to be exposed in July of 2024 for a calf in May of 2025. We always wait for Chondrodysplasia positive/dwarf heifers. Our goal with them is to have their first calf after they are three years old.
  • What is the Chondro gene?
    Chondrodysplasia is a genetic mutation that results in the animals appearing heavy bodied on short legs.
  • Are the Dexter cattle registered?
    Eligible cattle are registered with Legacy and PDCA.
  • How big does a Mangalitsa pig get?
    Mangalitsa are a lard breed. If left to grow for years, they can become over 600lbs. We take ours to the butcher between 12 and 15 months for a hang weight of less than 200lbs.
  • How much space do Mangalitsa pigs need?
    Like cattle, pigs can be grown in small pens or on large acreage. We find that it is important that Mangalitsa are able to move and forage. This allows for building more meat and not putting on as much fat. Rotational land management is key with pigs or they will completely destroy all edible vegetation. We generally keep our pigs in places that are not ideal for cattle, rotating them when the ground is rooted but not destroyed. We then recommend broadcast seeding behind them with an oat or rye that will grow well without planting.
  • What is the average cost to feed a Mangalitsa pig?
    At this time due to the wildly fluctuating costs of grain, the feed cost is hard to determine. We estimate the average cost of a good 18% protein grain-based diet is around $700. This can be reduced if you are able to find and mix your own grain or ferment whole grains. Many people also supplement their pig feed with bread, milk, and left-over produce. Remember this is a lard breed, if it will make you fat it will make them even fatter. Mangalitsa are not able to receive a significant amount of their diet by grazing.
  • What type of fencing do you recommend?
    We use high tensile fencing for all of our animals. Piglets need to be trained to the fence by keeping them in a smaller hard paneled fenced area with an electric wire on the inside.
  • Do Mangalitsa pigs make good pets?
    No, they do not. Mangalitsa pigs are bred purely for their meat.
  • What age do you recommend I can start breeding my Mangalitsa pig?
    We breed at 12 to 16 months of age depending on the weight of the gilt and how large the boar is.
  • How many piglets can I expect on average?
    The average litter size is about 5-8 piglets.
  • What is the recommended age for slaughter of my Mangalitsa?
    Depending on how much fat coverage your goal is, about 12-16 months.
  • Are the Mangalitsa pigs registered?
    Pigs are registered with MBOAR.
  • How do I reserve livestock?
    We require a $100.00 NONREFUNDABLE deposit to reserve an animal. The balance is due at the time you pick up the animal. Please only send a deposit for a specific animal that we have already discussed and which we expect you to send a deposit.
  • What forms of payment do you accept for livestock purchases?
    We accept payments via Square (credit card), PayPal (Buyer pays and additional 3% fee), cash, checks (must be paid 14 days before pick up), money orders, and occasionally barter.
  • Do you offer delivery of livestock purchased?
    2 Men & a Hen does not generally offer delivery of livestock. On occasion, we will deliver locally or if we have a planned livestock trip we may meet/deliver. These circumstances are rare but, we never say never.
  • Do you have shipping available for online meat orders?
    No, we do not offer online shipping of our meats at this time. Currently, Meat orders are farm pick up only.
  • Where can I pick up my online meat order?
    Your online meat order can be picked up at our farm. We also deliver to Grand Rapids on Tuesday and can often make arrangements to meet in Mt. Pleasant, Big Rapids, and Midland.
  • How will I know my order is ready for pick up?
    We will send you an email when your order is ready and contact you via email, text or call to set up a pick up time.
  • What shop products do you ship?
    Shipping is only available for our farm merchandise.
  • What is the ship time for farm merch orders?
    The average ship time is 7-14 days.
  • What shipping method do you use?
    We use the United States Postal Service ( U.S.P.S).
  • What is your livestock cancellation policy?
    In the event there is an issue at 2 Men & A Hen your deposit will be refunded to you. All other cancellations forfeit your animal deposit.
bottom of page