What Are The Main Cattle Breeds In New Zealand?
With a long history of cattle farming and dairying, New Zealand is home to many breeds of the animal. Each breed has particular attributes. If you are looking for cows for sale it would be advisable to have an idea of the types of breeds available to you.
Some of the key cattle breeds in New Zealand include Holstein-Friesians, Jersey Ayrshire's and English Shorthorns. All these imported breeds have their own advantages and their own history as they were brought to the country for various reasons.
For example the Holstein-Friesian, a breed which four years ago made up around 47% of the country's dairy herd, is prized for its milk. The milk is high in protein and a New Zealand Holstein-Friesian can produce over 4,000 litres of milk after calving. This advantage is one which New Zealanders have been enjoying since 1884 when they were introduced by Canterbury farmer John Grigg. This advantage makes them the most common milking cow worldwide.
Another breed to note if looking for cows for sale is the Jersey. Able to adapt to a wide range of conditions the Jersey can be found in Denmark, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Japan among other places. This breed was first imported to New Zealand in the early 1860's. This breed can allegedly produce around 13 times its body weight in milk product per lactation. The Jersey breed is also known to produce a higher amount of buttermilk per litre of milk than the Holstein-Friesian variety. Smaller and therefore easier to handle, they were - at the time of their introduction - particularly favoured in New Plymouth, appropriate for the smaller areas of farmland.
Ayrshire's are a third breed. Arriving with Scottish settlers this breed made their home in Otago. These breeds are strong-legged, have good constitutions and are usually dependable in terms of calving.
A fourth and less common breed is the English Shorthorn. These were one of the early breeds introduced. They were both a source of labour and meat but now with other breeds increasing in use and popularity this breed is not used so readily.
Other less common breeds exist such as the Brown Swiss and Guernsey. As particular traits in animals are being favoured by farmers, crosses are also being bred.
As you can see, there is a wide variety of breeds to be found, each one with different traits and with the ability to thrive in particular areas. It simply depends on what you are looking for in those cows for sale.
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