Meet Norman

Zebu cattle (Bos taurus indicus) originated in South Asia and are one of the smallest and oldest species of domestic cattle in the world.

Zebu are a separate species/ subspecies than the cattle we are most familiar with, Bos taurus taurus, which include breeds like the Angus and Hereford who all lack a shoulder hump and originate from temperate areas like Europe. Roughly 75 breeds of zebu (Bos indicus taurus) are known, split about evenly between African breeds and Indian ones. Zebu are characterised by a fatty hump on their shoulders, a large dewlap and sometimes drooping ears. They are very hardy cattle able to withstand drought and high temperatures, unlike other cattle (Bos taurus taurus). Zebu are also more disease and parasite resistant than Bos Taurus breeds. This, combined with their manageable size, make Zebu ideal for light agricultural work, as a food source and for their byproducts (hides, horns and dung for fuel) in their native countries throughout Asia and Africa.

Norman is a “miniature zebu”, a breed of Zebu cattle formally established in the United States in 1991.  At that time, there were small species of zebu cattle in 23 American zoos, and others were held by fifty or so private owners. By 2016, more than 6200 animals were registered. Through careful selective breeding, the miniature zebu has grown both in number and in uniformity of the breed’s standard, and is primarily kept today as a companion animal in the United States. They can be many colors but the most common is gray, and this is as big as they’ll get.

Animal Details

Name: Norman
Category: Livestock