For one miniatures in general are great for small acreage. They are also easier to maintain on feed and grazing. Different breeds all range in sizes and types. There are those that are primarily bred for dairy, meat or milk. You also have the triple purpose cattle.
Triple purpose is usually breeds that can produce for you meat, milk and oxen or pet. These animals can look beefier than a dairy animal. However, these animals, depending on the breed can produce enough milk for your family and enough meat to fill a freezer for the family as well.
We chose the two because we love the Irish Dexter in personality and their triple purpose ability. We also love the Hereford for the easy going nature. Breeding them together makes a great pair! We are still watching as we breed the milking and meat in as we don't want to lose either.
No, it may be cheaper for you but the stress on the baby is high and with the price of a mini and the time we take with each, we couldn't do it. The animals we bring up here are family and we work on the weaning process to keep the stress low. We pride ourselves on weanlings who are easily adapt to their new surroundings and being away form their mom.