Micro-livestockApril 8, 2010
Micro-livestock is a term coined for species that are inherently small, such as rabbits and poultry, as well as for breeds of cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs that are less than half the size of the most common breeds. These miniature animals are seldom considered in the broad picture of livestock development, but they might have a promising future if mankind decides to shrink, or even in an economy where we’ll have to make other choices regarding the amount and types of meat we eat. Whenever fertile farmland is scarce, as it is increasingly so on a global scale, it seems reasonable to assume that small animals would be more attractive to breed than large ones.
In the introduction of the 1991 research paper Micro-livestock: Little-known Small Animals with a Promising Economic Future, the National Research Council states: “Like computers, livestock … should be getting smaller and becoming more personal. Miniframes, such as the conventional breeds of sheep and goats, have an increasingly important role to play. But tiny user-friendly species for home use are the ones highlighted in this report.