Dairy COW breeds and their features


Jerseys are a small breed that is fawn brown in color. Because of their color and the shape of their eyes, they are often described as “deerlike.” They originated on the Isle of Jersey in Great Britain. The Jersey’s milk is rich and high in butterfat, so it is usually considered the best-tasting milk.

The Jersey’s milk is also great for making a favorite dairy dessert. Can anyone guess what that might be?
Milk from Jersey cows is a favorite for making ice cream!
** Some Extra Trivia: Elsie, Borden Dairy Company’s mascot, is a Jersey. (The man who started the Borden Dairy invented condensed milk in 1856.) Amaze your friends with these incredible facts!


Guernseys are brown or fawn colored with white spots.Like the Jersey, the breed is originally from an island in Great Britain. Guernseys also make rich milk that is high in butterfat, protein, and beta-carotene. Many years ago, their milk was more popular because people liked to drink creamier milk. Farmers like Guernsey because they aren’t very big, so they don’t need to eat as much as bigger cows, but they give lots of milk for their size.
One Guernsey show today is a futurity, which means that the animals competing today were nominated for the show (registered to compete) when they were born. They are three years old now, so their owners have been preparing them all their lives, knowing this day would come.


The Holstein breed is the most common breed in America. In fact, 90% of all dairy cows in the U.S.are Holsteins. When you think of a typical cow, you are probably thinking of a Holstein. It’s that black and white spotted cow you see all around. Here’s a fascinating fact about Holsteins: no two are marked alike. That means that their spotting patterns are as unique as snowflakes! Usually, the spots cover about half of the Holstein’s body, but some may be all white or all black. - 37 –

Why do you think this one breed, the Holstein, has become so important? (Hint: Why do we raise dairy cattle?)
The Holstein produces more milk than any other breed. That’s why farmers raise more Holsteins than any other dairy cow. Holsteins usually work as milk cows for about 6 years of their life.

Ayrshire cattle are reddish brown and white spotted. Its spots are kind of unusual, because they are usually jagged and small and scattered all over their body. They would normally have long, upright horns, but most are dehorned as calves. This means that their horns are removed when they are very young. The Ayrshire is named after the County Ayr in Scotland, where the breed was first developed.


What color do you think they are? Now, can you guess the country they are originally from? Only the black and white spotted Holstein breed gives more milk than the Brown Swiss. The Brown Swiss is a horned breed. The bulls have short horns with dark color on the horn tips. Not all breeds of cattle have horns; some breeds don’t have horns at all and some have their horns removed (kind of like removing the tails in certain breeds of dogs). Cattle born without horns are called polled. The Brown Swiss has fuzzy ears and dark brown points. This means that the “edges” of the cow are darker in color—you know, the ears, nose, hoofs and switch
Does anyone know what a switch is?

The switch is the tip of the tail, and it usually has a nice tuft of hair on it, for chasing away flies, and the like!

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March 3, 2019 at 12:08 PM delete

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