Belted Galloway cattle
Belted Galloway cattle are often referred to as ‘Belties’ or ‘Oreo cows’. There is some conjecture as to the exact origin of Belted Galloway cattle. It is widely believed that the Belted Galloway is the result of crossing the Galloway with the Dutch Belted, Lakenvelder cow.
The Belted Galloway certainly shares the same characteristics as the Galloway. While the Belted Galloway is smaller than the Galloway it is the highly distinctive uniform white band which really sets them apart. Indeed, in days before the railways, drovers liked to have a ‘Beltie’ in a herd of cattle as they were easy to spot when the sun went down.
Belted Galloway meat
This is a hardy breed, able to thrive on poor quality pastures. Their double coat of hair provides excellent protection from cold and wet weather. (The dense, short undercoat is usually shed in hot weather.) These insulating coats reduce winter feed costs and result in a meat which is very low in fat.
The breed is slow to mature, so the meat is tender and full of flavour. Tests have shown Belted Galloway beef to have a total fat content of 2% of which only 1% was saturated fat. Carcass yields are high – dressed weights stand at 60%+ of live weight. While the breed is primarily raised for its meat the Belted Galloway is sometimes milked.
Belted Galloway cattle are no longer considered a rare breed in the UK. It is well suited to the climate here in Ireland and the breed is also thriving in Australia, Canada, Switzerland and the USA.
Belted Galloway characteristics & temperament
Aside from the distinctive white belt (which should contain no black spots) the rest of the body is black, dun or red. They are naturally polled.
Cows reach 400 to 600 kilos in weight, mature bulls between 815 and 955 kilos. New born heifers weigh around 27 to 30 kilos. Calving is usually relatively free of complications. Dams have strong maternal instincts and produce rich milk. They calf each year and two calves a year is certainly not unheard of. Belted Galloway cows are docile and very easy to handle.
The breed is also renowned for its longevity. Cows usually live for 17-20 years.
If you are interested in purchasing Belted Galloway cattle, please get in touch.
Belted Galloway cattle for sale and many other breeds
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