BEFORE PURCHASING YOUR MINIATURE CATTLE
Find out all you can about the breed and know the right questions to ask
The belt is a dominant trait and will be present in many crossbreeds. You can call anything with a belt around the middle a "beltie". Some breeders are selling "registered" belties that are registered with OTHER breed associations. In fact, some breeders have created their own designer breeds and registries and have trademarked their new breed, even though these "new" breeds are just first generation crossbreds with a fancy name and sell for thousands of dollars to the unsuspecting buyer. The new American version is not a heritage breed. It is a crossbreed from Dexter and Belted Galloway cattle, both breeds ARE heritage. Belted Galloways do NOT have horns, nor carry the gene for horns. The horns come from the Dexter breeding.
Registered Belted Galloway are a highly prized breed and are on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy list of endangered breeds, which only in 2007 were moved from the critical list to recovering when they just passed the global 10,000 animal mark and 2500 registrations in the US. Don't accept an imitation! Make sure your animals are registered by the U.S. Belted Galloway Society. You will be protecting a heritage breed from extinction! Other beltie breeds like to quote this even though they are crossbreds.
Some breeders are claiming their crossbreeds are "heritage" but this just not true. Do not be fooled by a breed that has been invented, marketed, and registered by an individual making up breeds of miniature cattle and their own registry to go with them.
Poor genetics may cause problems later with hidden genetic diseases and poor performance in your breeding program. In other words, you get what you pay for....not always a bargain.
You can gain valuable information by joining your breed association and discussion groups centered around your breed of interest. They are always willing to answer questions and give advise.