Dahomey dwarf cattle

Bos primigenius taurus

A Dahomey dwarf cow with her calf stand in front of the camera. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Critically endangered
  • Family
    Bovids (Bovidae)
  • Weight
    ♀180 – 230 kg, ♂ 250 – 300 kg

Hardy and highly adaptable

The miniature cattle cause very little damage when grazing: the trampling of the smaller breed only slightly compacts the soil. This makes them good conservation grazers for rural landscape. Dahomey dwarf cattle are hardy and highly adaptable – they can tolerate both hot and cold temperatures, and even snow.

Size adaptation

The Dahomey’s miniature size is not a product of breeding, but rather an adaptation to its environment in West Africa. Animals in warmer regions are often smaller than their relatives in cold climates. Smaller animals living in tropical or equatorial zones have a proportionally larger surface area relative to body volume, which helps them release excess body heat quickly.

Unlike many other breeds of cattle, the Dahomey has a dark bluish tongue and throat area.