What many people don’t know if they aren’t involved in the dairy industry, well really in the showing part of the dairy industry, is that there are many different breeds of dairy cows. For a while there were six well known ones, those being Holstein, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn, Brown Swiss, Ayrshire, and Guernsey. Just recently they’ve added Lineback and sometimes even Dutch Belt to the mix.
Each breed has some different quality that defines them among the rest. Holstein of course are the most well known, them being the most common black and white cows. Jerseys are the second most well known. They’re the second most common cow as far as I know, and they’re also the smaller brown ones. I also think they’re the smallest cow as far as I know, but don’t anyone quote me on that. I do know that they have some of the highest butterfat in their milk. This mainly means that the milk is thicker and also the best for making ice cream and cheese. Guernseys are another one with high butterfat, but I’m afraid that’s all I really know about them besides the fact that they are yellowish and white.
Besides those few the only ones I really know the most about are Milking Shorthorns and Linebacks, them being the cows I have the most of. Milking Shorthorns are typically red mostly all over, but sometimes they can also be white which I actually find fascinating, mainly because I’ve never seen one. Then there all the Linebacks. I’ve mentioned them a few times, and even though I’ve known about them and had them for around six years now they’re still amazing to me. Linebacks can be red, or black, or completely white, and sometimes they have spotted sides, or they can have fully colored sides. The only thing they really need to be qualified as a Lineback is a white line from their neck area to their tail. This is the main reason why they’re all so different and why they are by far my favorite breed of cow.
Well that’s a bit about the different dairy cow breeds, and if you want to know more I would suggest googling them, or visiting your local county fair if you have one and find some farmers with some of the other breeds that can tell you more about the ones I don’t know much about.