Without cows, we wouldn’t have farm fresh milk, butter, cheese, and so many other dairy products! These farm animals are essential to our lives.
Let’s take some time to credit these creatures and get to know them a little more with some fun dairy cow facts! All 5 of these cow breeds aren’t just capable of producing fresh organic milk – they are so much more than just that!
Facts You Didn’t Know About 5 Different Cow Breeds
1. Holstein Cow
Remember drawing cows as a child and always making sure they were colored black and white? Well, that cow is the Holstein breed.
This is the cow everyone knows and sees as the ideal cow (appearance-wise at least).
Cow Characteristics: Like said previously, the Holstein is known for its black and white color scheme.
When the word “cow” is said, we bet the black and white Holstein cow is what popped up in your head – right? No surprise there!
This stylish breed is larger in size – being 1,500 lbs full grown.
Cow History: They originated from from the Netherlands and were first imported to the United States in the 1850s.
- – You will never see two Holsteins with the same spots
- – The Holstein cow broke the world record for milk production in 2010 – producing 72,170 lbs of milk in a year
- – 90% of dairy cows in the United States are of Holstein descent
2. Jersey Cow
Big eyes, long lashes – that’s what the Jersey cow is known for! This breed is also known for its butterfat-filled milk!
Cow Characteristics: The color range for the Jersey cow varies. It can range from a medium brown color to a dull, and dusty grey.
Jersey cows are typically smaller, being only 1,000 lbs at full size.
Again, this breed is known for their big eyes and extremely long lashes. The internet has labeled this dairy cow breed as the “prettiest.”
Its facial features never fail to pull at any human’s heart string.
Cow History: The Jersey cow originates from Jersey, the largest island in the Channel Islands. The Jersey cow was imported to England during the late 18th century.
- – Jersey Milk contains 18% more protein and 20% more calcium than Milk from other cows
- – Jersey Cows can’t sweat, therefore they prefer to live in the shade to keep cool. A Jersey cows’ preferred temperature is 4°C
- – Jersey cows, on average, drinks 35 gallons of water a day.
3. Brown Swiss
Meet the oldest type of cow out there (according to historians) – the Brown Swiss!
The Brown Swiss is our childhood favorite, although we now know that brown cows do not produce chocolate milk, they were definitely the breed we gave credit to!
Cow Characteristics: Although they are called the “Brown” Swiss – their color schemes tend to vary from dark brown, grey, tan, and even an off-white.
Their noses/muzzles, hooves, and their switch are always black in color.
This breed is quite large – weighing 1,500 lbs at full size.
The Brown Swiss is known for their big, floppy ears, along with their submissive personality!
Cow History: This breed originated from Switzerland around 4000 B.C. – known to be the oldest breed in the cow world as most historians have said.
- – The world population for the breed Brown Swiss, is 7 million
- – The Brown Swiss is known for their friendly disposition and docile temperament
- – The Brown Swiss breed plays multiple roles in the agriculture industry including milk, cheese, and meat production
4. Guernsey Cow
Meet yet another stylish breed in the dairy world! This is the Guernsey cow.
This specific breed is known for its friendly disposition and its rich tasting milk!
Cow Characteristics: The Guernsey breed is a medium sized breed, weighing an average of 1,200 lbs at full size.
A visible characteristic that allows many people to differentiate this breed is its color scheme.
The Guernsey cow is orange/red and white in color. The colors are shown on various parts of the cow (from its body to its face)!
Cow History: Just like their name implies, they originate from the British Channel Island of Guernsey.
- – Guernseys are known for living longer, therefore allowing them to produce milk for longer
- – Guernsey milk contains 12% more protein, 30% more cream, 33% more vitamin D, 25% more vitamin A and 15% more calcium than average milk
- – Many farmers have said that the Guernsey breed is one of the easiest breeds to work with due to its friendly disposition and submissive personality
5. Ayrshire Cow
Known for their ability to efficiently convert grass in to milk, meet our cow friend, the Ayrshire cow!
This specific cow has many traits that many dairy farmers view as ideal such as, longevity and easy calving.
Cow Characteristics: This breed is marked with red-brown colored spots, however the shades of the red-brown spots can vary from a range of light to dark.
This specific breed is typically medium in size. The average size for a full grown Ayrshire cow is 1,200 lbs.
Cow History: Prior to the 1800s, the Ayrshire cow originated in the County of Ayr in Scotland.
- – The Ayrshire breed were known for their long horns however, they are removed today as they are not practical
- – This specific breed can sleep while standing
- – Ayrshire cows are capable of chewing 50 times per minute
Support Local Dairies in California
Now that you’ve learned a few facts on your favorite cow breeds, why not support your local dairy farmers?
Support your local dairies by drinking milk in glass bottles! You can get farm fresh milk right at your doorsteps again. Let’s relive the good old times and support our community, farmers, and our dairy cows!
Join the moo-vement today: