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Heritage Dairy Animals Overview

Part I: Heritage Dairy Breeds

Ayrshire

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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.

Ayrshire Breed Abstract
Additional Info
(PDF)

Canadienne

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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.

Canadienne Breed Abstract
Additional Info (PDF)

Dexter

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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.

Dexter Cattle Breed Abstract
Additional Info (PDF)

Dutch Belted

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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.

Dutch Belted Breed Abstract
Additional Info (PDF)

Guernsey

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The Guernsey breed is a dairy breed originating on the Isle of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. Cows are noted for their quiet dispositions.

Guernsey Breed Abstract
Additional Info (PDF)

Kerry

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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 Breed Abstract
Additional Info (PDF)

Milking Devon

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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.

Milking Devon Breed Abstract
Additional Info (PDF)

Milking Shorthorn - Native

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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.

Milking Shorthorn Breed Abstract
Additional Info (PDF)

Pineywoods

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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.

Pineywoods Breed Abstract
Additional Info (PDF)

Randall or Randall Lineback

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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.

Randall Lineback Breed Abstract
Additional Info (PDF)

Red Poll

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The Red Poll is a dual‑purpose breed developed in eastern England in the early 1800s.Red Polls have quiet dispositions and they are an excellent choice for rotational grazing and other systems where ease of handling is required.

Red Poll Breed Abstract
Additional Info (PDF)

 

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Heritage Dairy Animals Overview


Definition of Heritage Cattle & Their Products

Part I: Heritage Dairy Breeds

Part II: Dairy Farming

Additional Resources