Livestock

Other British traditional breeds

In addition, there are 21 traditional breeds of cattle that are not classified as rare (although some of them have been):

  • Aberdeen Angus
  • Ayrshire
  • Beef Shorthorn
  • Belted Galloway
  • British White
  • Dairy Shorthorn
  • Devon
  • Dexter
  • Galloway
  • Guernsey
  • Hereford
  • Highland
  • Jersey
  • Kerry
  • Lincoln Red
  • Longhorn
  • Luing
  • Red Poll
  • South Devon
  • Sussex
  • Welsh Black

Some of these breeds are true dairy breeds – the Ayrshire, the Kerry, the Jersey and the Guernsey, for example – and some are true beef breeds – the Aberdeen Angus and the Hereford, for example.

Others would have been regarded as dual purpose at one time, but are now mostly kept as beef animals – like the Dexter, the Shetland, the Gloucester (of Double Gloucester cheese fame) and the Welsh Black.

The British traditional breeds have developed to suit the climate and the terrain – generally, they are more suited to the low input: low output systems often favoured by many smallholders. And many of these breeds make very good house cows producing high quality milk and beef from relatively low inputs.

Some of these breeds are now rare, so in keeping them and breeding them responsibly, you will be helping to preserve their genetics and a bit of our country’s social history.

So, as they say in magazines, “other cattle breeds are available”. However, I hope that you will look no further than our wonderful British rare and traditional breeds. :-)

Rosemary Champion

About Rosemary Champion

Rosemary lives on a 12 acre smallholding in Angus, in the east of Scotland, where she keeps Ryeland Sheep, Shetland cattle and assorted poultry. She was destined to be a smallholder from an early age.

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