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Monday, 13 February 2012

Top 10 cattle breeds

1.British White
British White is a naturally polled British cattle breed, white with black or red points, used mainly for beef. It has a confirmed history dating back to the 17th century, and may be derived from similar cattle kept in parks for many centuries before that. The breed is hardy and thrifty, and the animals readily graze rough vegetation such as rushes, nettles or heather, and they keenly browse many trees and shrubs. They rarely have calving difficulties. In North America the breed is represented by two separate societies, the British White Cattle Association of America and the American British White Park Association.

The Ankole-Watusi is a breed of cattle originally native to Africa. The animal is sometimes known as Ankole or Watusi, and is one of the Sanga group of types. Ankoles are able to utilize poor quality forage and limited quantities of food and water. These survival abilities have allowed them as a breed to not only survive the centuries in Africa but to become established in Europe, South America, Australia and North America. Ankole-Watusi have played a pivotal role in the lives of various African tribes – Tutsi, Ankole, Bahima, Bashi, Bakiga, and the Kivu – although the Tutsi are most often associated with the breed. The cattle provided food, currency, and tribal status.

3.Santa Gertrudis cattle
Santa Gertrudis cattle are a tropical beef breed of cattle developed in southern Texas on the King Ranch. This breed was officially recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1940, becoming the first beef breed formed in the United States. The breed is cherry red, occasionally with white markings on the underline, and has a short, smooth, slick coat. Santa Gertrudis cattle show many of the Bos indicus characteristics: the hide is loose and there are neck and navel folds; the male has a small Zebu-type hump. Ears are medium to large and individuals are horned or polled. The female is noted for her ease of calving and milking ability.

4.Guernsey cattle
The Guernsey is a breed of cattle used in dairy farming. It is fawn and white in colour, and is particularly renowned for the rich flavour of its milk, as well as its hardiness and docile disposition. Guernsey cattle were first imported to North America in the 1830s, with importations peaking in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Guernsey Cattle Club was formed in 1877. The breed was a significant genetic foundation for the American dairy industry, contributing to the general mix of dairy cattle as well as being used as a purebred.

5.Holstein cattle
Holstein cattle is a breed of cattle known today as the world’s highest production dairy animal. Holstein have very distinctive markings and outstanding milk production. They are large, black and white marked animals that can be anywhere from mostly black to mostly white, or half and half. They can also be red and white. Holstein Friesians were found throughout the rich lowlands of France, Belgium, The Netherlands and the western provinces of Germany. The breed did not become established in Great Britain at the time, nor did it invade the islands of Jersey or of Guernsey, where laws existed against imports for breeding purposes from the continent.

6.Ayrshire cattle
The Ayrshire cattle is a breed of dairy cattle originated from Ayrshire in Scotland. They are known for low somatic cell counts, ability to convert grass into milk efficiently, and hardiness. The breed’s strong points are the now desired traits of easy calving and longevity.  Ayrshires excel in udder conformation and are not subject to excessive foot and leg problems. These traits make Ayrshires outstanding commercial dairy cattle. Other traits that make Ayrshires attractive to the commercial dairyman include the vigour of Ayrshire calves.

7.Australian Brangus
Australian Brangus are a polled breed of beef cattle, developed in the tropical coastal areas ofQueensland, Australia by crossbreeding Brahman and Angus cattle during the 1950s. Brangus were first developed in the United States and later developed independently in Australia as the Australian Brangus. The breed was produced to establish higher tick and heat tolerance than that of other cattle breeds.  The Australian Brangus Cattle Association Ltd. performance records the herd using the internationally recognized Breedplan for monitoring growth, milk and carcase quality.

The Brahman or Brahma is a breed of Zebu cattle (Bos primigenius indicus), later exported from India to the rest of the world. The main breeds used were Kankrej, Gujurat, Nelore or Ongole and the Gir or Gyr cattle.  Brahman cattle are known for their extreme tolerance to heat conditions, and therefore are used in many tropical regions. They are also resistant to insects due to their thick layer of skin. Brahman cattle live longer than many other breeds, often still producing calves at ages 15 and older.

The Chianina is an Italian breed of cattle, formerly principally a draught breed, now raised mainly for beef. It is the largest and one of the oldest cattle breeds in the world. The Chianina breed is widely used for cross-breeding, most notably with Nelore cattle in Latin America. In the United States the Chianina has been cross-bred with English breeds to reduce the fat content of meat in line with current fashion; elsewhere it has been used to transmit size, growth rate and its relatively low skeleton weight to local breeds.

10.Galloway cattle
The Galloway is one of the world’s longest established breeds of beef cattle, named after the Galloway region of Scotland, where it originated. It is now found in many parts of the world. The Galloway is naturally hornless, and instead of horns has a bone knob at the top of its skull called the poll. This breed’s shaggy coat has both a thick, woolly undercoat for warmth and stiffer guard hairs that help shed water, making them well adapted to harsher climates. Galloways have a thick double-layered coat that is wavy or curly. This thick coat of hair insulates their bodies so well that they have a minimal outer layer of fat on their bodies, which would otherwise create waste at slaughter.

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