Smallest cow in country bred in Quad Cities area, says New Liberty farmer

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NEW LIBERTY, Iowa-- We all know what Old McDonald had on his farm. But when it comes to cows, farmer Dean Schocker gives McDonald a run for his money.

His herd of 14 are called Zebu. They're originally from India, and they're known for their horns, hump, and size.

"They can't believe that my little ones aren't babies," says Schocker.

On average, Zebu measure in at about four feet tall from their shoulders to the ground. Their size makes them a lot more manageable on a farm, says Schocker.

"They're a lot easier to handle than regular cattle. Cows wreck the fences and feeders, and they're intimidating," says Schocker.

Schocker says on average, it takes about an acre of land to raise one regular sized cow. But He can raise about five to six Zebu per acre.

Zebu can also be trained just like dogs if socialized at an early age.

Schocker has always liked exotic animals. And now he's raising them. He breeds them and sells them to people all over the world as pets or for additional breeding purposes. They can also be harvested for their meat.

He says when he started, zebu sold for about $150. Now, he can get $1,500 per mini cow depending on its size.

For him, it's a business. But there's one member of his herd he'll never let go.

"There's a guy in Florida that wants to buy her. I'm afraid to put a price on her. I can't sell her," says Schocker.

The big eyed cutie is Lucy. From her shoulders to the ground, she measures in at just 24 inches tall. Schocker says that makes her the smallest cow in the nation.

"She's the smallest one I know of in the United States," says Schocker.

Schocker says there's one zebu he knows of in India that comes close to Lucy's size, but that's it.

Schocker's goal is to continue selling the mini cows, but to also educate people about the species that sets his farm apart.

Just about half his herd is expecting. They are due in May.

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