Australian cattleman Rick Pisaturo, of Mandalong Stud, developed the Square Meaters breed in the 1990's. His objective was to create a breed that could achieve the following under commercial conditions: optimum vealer weights at nine months of age, superior muscling and high return carcase weights. According to Pisaturo, in this scenario, production costs could be reduced, while return on investment would be guaranteed. The first calves, whose birth weights measured between 14 to 22 kilograms, were born in 1994.
Murray Grey cattle constituted the main foundation stock of the Square Meaters breed. Females that made the cut for selection exhibited sound structure, well-developed muscle and fine milking abilities.
As Square Meater cattle are the direct descendants of Murray Grey cattle, they share the same phenotype. They are a compact, polled breed whose coat colour varies between shades of greys and browns. Their dark skin provides an effective safeguard against eye cancer and sunburn.
What differentiates Square Meaters from Murray Greys is height. Squares have shorter legs and are shorter in their overall height. The Square Meaters Association stipulates that bulls must be between certain height limits at one year old. Bulls must not exceed 113 cm at the shoulders, and must not measure less than 103cm at the same point. Cows must not exceed 110 cm at the shoulders, and must not measure less than 100cm at the same point. That being said, Square Meaters are not considered to be a miniature breed. These mandates are in place to ensure the breed retains the physiological and economic efficiency that is made possible by their height.
Mature cows typically weigh around 450 kilograms, while mature bulls generally weigh around 800 kilograms. They can calve at 2 years of age without difficulty. Square Meater calves are known for their rapid growth, sometimes reaching weights of 350 kilograms at 9-11 months old. Early maturing, even fat cover, superior muscling and fleshing, excellent feed efficiency, abundant milk supply, are also characteristic. Square Meater cattle are also known to finish well on both grass and grain.
Today, Square Meaters continue to be bred in Australia. The breed is gradually gaining popularity in the United States.