Beef Shorthorn

Shorthorn cattle originate from the north east of England. The origins of the breed can be traced back to the 1700s. Through genetic diversity the breed split into Beef Shorthorn and Dairy Shorthorn.

History of Beef Shorthorn cattle

The development of Shorthorn cattle is due mainly to the founding breeders of Teeswater cattle. Cattle kept by some of these main breeders were developed for their beef qualities while other breeders concentrated on the milking qualities.

Beef Shorthorn vs Dairy Shorthorn 

There are only minor differences between the Beef Shorthorn and the Dairy Shorthorn. For the most part they have very similar qualities and characteristics. Shorthorn cattle are natural grazers. They convert feed to beef and milk with great efficiency.

Shorthorn genetics have subsequently been used in the development of over 40 breeds across the world. It is a breed that is certainly gaining in popularity here in Ireland.

Characteristics of Beef Shorthorn cattle

Shorthorn cattle are usually a mix of red, roan or white. (The White bred Shorthorn is completely white and was developed to be crossed with black Galloway cattle.) Despite the name, some Shorthorn cattle are naturally polled.

When used in beef production, Shorthorn gain weight efficiently and are suitable for low-input systems. Animals finish quite early and the beef is well marbled. This marbling adds to the tenderness of the meat. Average carcass yields are around 60%.

Shorthorn cattle temperament & facts

Shorthorn cows have a good temperament and are easy to milk. Milk yields can be high (around 8,000 litres per lactation) with a good protein ratio. Another plus is their longevity. Some cows produce 5 lactations in their lifetime.

Cows reach around 800 kilos in weight, mature bulls around 990 kilos. Calves usually weigh around 38 kilos. The relatively small size of the calves makes calving easy. It is reported that over 97% of births require no assistance. Cows can breed again quickly while heifers usually reach puberty at under a year old.

Shorthorn bulls are considered to be quieter than many other breeds. They have high libidos and the breed has excellent fertility. The Shorthorn has the ability to cross well with virtually any breed.

If you are interested in buying Beef Shorthorn cattle, please get in touch.

Beef Shorthorn cattle for sale and other breeds

David Clarke Livestock source and supply Beef Shorthorn cattle to farms across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Other beef breeds available. These include Aberdeen Angus, Aubrac, Belgian BlueChianina, Hereford and Salers. Dairy and dual purpose breeds also sourced and delivered. Let our experienced team help you to buy Beef Shorthorn cattle.