Heritage Cattle Breeds

Ancient White Park

Ancient White Park cattle
 

White Park cattle are an ancient breed. They came to the U.S. from Britain in the 1940s. The breed is primarily being used as a beef breed. The breeds most remarkable traits include high fertility, easy calving, extreme adaptability, hardiness, and aggressive grazing behavior.

Cows: 1,200-1,300lbs/ Bulls: 1,800-2,000lbs

Ancient White Park Abstract

Ankole-Watusi

Ankole-Watusi cattle

Ankole‑Watusi cattle, with their long, large horns, are among the most striking members of the bovine kingdom. Adaptation to harsh environments, excellent maternal abilities, high ­butterfat milk, and lean beef are among its assets.

Cows: 900-1200lbs/ Bulls: 1,000-1,600lbs

Ankole-Watusi Breed Abstract

Ayrshire

Ayshire cow

 

The Ayrshire is a dairy breed that has an alert and active disposition. In spite of their bovine beauty, Ayrshires are best known as hardy, useful cattle, well adapted to cold climates and rugged environments. The cows are excellent grazers, able to maintain condition, reproduce efficiently, and produce up to 20,000 pounds of milk per year, primarily on a forage diet.

Cows: 1,100lbs(avg)/ Bulls: 1,600lbs(avg)

Ayrshire Breed Abstract

Belted Galloway

Belted Galloway cow

Beneath their flashy appearance, the Belted Galloway is breed celebrated for their efficiency on rough forage, maternal abilities, and high quality beef. They are well-adapted to cold climates, and will grow a shaggy hair coat in the winter. In the summer, they shed this coat and tolerate warm climates better than most other cold adapted cattle.

Cows: 1,000lbs(avg)/ Bulls: 1,600lbs(avg)

Belted Galloway Breed Abstract

Canadienne

Canadienne cattle

The Canadienne is one of the few historic breeds of livestock developed in Canada. Primarily known as a dairy breed, the Canadienne is known for its ability to produce milk on poor forage and under very challenging conditions. Few dairy breeds demonstrate this combination of hardiness and ­productivity as well as
the Canadienne.

Cows: 1,100lbs(avg)/ Bulls: 1,600lbs(avg)

Canadienne Breed Abstract

Devon/Beef Devon

Beef Devon cow

The Pilgrims brought Devon cattle with them to New England beginning in 1623.The Devon is known for high quality beef, and the breed’s hardiness and grazing ability makes it an excellent choice for grass‑based production.The breed’s history as a dual‑purpose animal gives it greater maternal ability than most other beef breeds.

Cows: 1,100lbs(avg)/ Bulls: 1,600-2,000lbs

Beef Devon Breed Abstract

Dexter

Dexter cattle

 

Dexter cattle are among the smallest breeds of cattle in the world. The Dexter is a dual-purpose breed that is hardy, forage‑efficient, and has excellent maternal qualities. As with other dual‑purpose breeds, the quantity of milk produced varies among strains; those strains selected for dairying produce more milk, while those that have been selected for beef produce less.

Cows/Bulls: 700-900lbs(avg)

Dexter Cattle Breed Abstract

Dutch Belted

Dutch Belted cow

The Dutch Belted is a dairy cattle breed named for its country of origin and its striking color pattern: black with a bright white belt around its middle. They are gaining popularity in grass‑based dairying. They consistently demonstrate reproductive efficiency and longevity of production.

Cows: 900-1,500lbs/ Bulls: range up to 2,000lbs

Dutch Belted Breed Abstract

Florida Cracker

Florida Cracker cattle

Florida Cracker is one of the oldest breeds of cattle in the United States, descending from Spanish cattle brought to the New World in the early 1500s. The breed was shaped primarily by natural selection in an environment that is generally hostile to cattle.This has resulted in a breed that is heat‑tolerant, long‑lived, resistant to parasites and diseases, and productive on low quality forage.

Cows: 600-800lbs/ Bulls: 800-1,200lbs

Florida Cracker Breed Abstract

Galloway

Belted Galloway cow

 

In North America, the Galloway stands out for its forage efficiency, hardiness, maternal qualities, and excellence of beef. Galloway beef is of great quality and can be marketed in a variety of specialty niches, such as grass fed and organic beef. Galloways are also known for browsing ability, giving them added value in the management and diversification of grasslands.

Cows: 1,200lbs(avg)/ Bulls:1,200-1,600lbs

Galloway Breed Abstract

Guernsey

Guernsey cow

The Guernsey breed is a dairy breed originating on the Isle of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. Cows are noted for their quiet dispositions. A distinctive characteristic of the breed is the golden color of its milk, which results from exceptionally high levels of carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A.Traditionally the breed was a good grazer, able to produce on quality pastures, and adaptable to a variety of climates and conditions.

Cows: 1,400lbs(avg)/ Bulls: 2,000lbs(avg)

Guernsey Breed Abstract

Highland

Highland cow

 

The shaggy haired, long horned Highland is a useful and productive cattle breed. The breed is best known for its survival qualities hardiness, maternal abilities, reproductive efficiency, and longevity. Highland cattle thrive on rough forage and in cold, wet climates.The breed is known for the quality of its beef.

Cows: 900-1,300lbs/ Bulls: 1,500-2,000lbs

Highland Breed Abstract

Kerry

Kerry cow

 

Kerry cattle are indigenous to Ireland and are one of the oldest European breeds of cattle. They are active grazers and browsers, hardy and long-lived, often continuing to be productive milking cattle into their teens. Kerry cows are robust mothers that have little to no difficulty calving. Kerry milk is also particularly well suited for cheese production

Cows: 800lbs(avg)/ Bulls: 1,000lbs(avg)

Kerry Breed Abstract

Milking Devon

Milking Devon cattle

 

Devon cattle come from England, where the breed was developed over several centuries. Devons were originally a tri-purpose breed, but as the market multi-purpose animals dwindled, many began selecting the Devon for beef qualities. Those that continued selecting for milk, meat, and draft power led to the development of the American Milking Devon, unique to the United States.

Cows: 1,100lbs(avg)/ Bulls: 1,600lbs(avg)

Milking Devon Breed Abstract

Milking Shorthorn - Native

Milking Shorthorn - Native cattle

Early in the 1900s, the Shorthorn breed was formally split into a beef type, called Beef Shorthorn/Shorthorn, and a dairy type called Milking Shorthorn. Most breeders favored selection for beef, leading to the decline in numbers of the Milking Shorthorn. The Milking Shorthorn performs well for grass­based dairying, as they are forage efficient, healthy, long­lived, and productive, with the additional value of high quality beef.

Cows: 1,200-1,400lbs/ Bulls: 2,000lbs(avg)

Milking Shorthorn Breed Abstract

Pineywoods

Pineywoods cow

 

The Pineywoods is one of the oldest breeds of cattle in the United States, descending from Spanish cattle brought to the Americas beginning in the early 1500s. The Pineywoods breed was shaped primarily by agricultural and environmental conditions in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and other parts of the southeastern United States. The breed is a dual-purpose breed, with various strains selected more heavily for certain traits.

Cows: 600-800lbs/ Bulls: 800-1,200lbs

Pineywoods Breed Abstract

Randall or Randall Lineback

Randall or Randall Lineback cattle

 

The Randall Lineback is a purebred remnant of lineback-patterned cattle once common in New England.Historically, Linebacks were multi-purpose, used for dairy, beef, and oxen, and served as an integral part of rural New England life for several centuries. Today, the breed is being selected for both beef and dairy qualities.

Randall Lineback Breed Abstract

Red Poll

Red Poll cow

The Red Poll is a dual‑purpose breed developed in eastern England in the early 1800s.Though their dual‑purpose qualities were valuable, American breeders have emphasized the beef characteristics of the Red Poll, especially since the 1960s with the Holstein’s dominance in the dairy industry. Red Polls have quiet dispositions and they are an excellent choice for rotational grazing and other systems where ease of handling is required.

Cows: 1.200lbs(avg)/ Bulls: 1,800lbs(avg)

Red Poll Breed Abstract