What are the breeds of cows

Cows are divided into meat and dairy species (depending on the characteristics of the animals). Breeds of meat and milk (mixed) direction are also distinguished. The characteristics of the most popular are presented in this article.

Dairy breeds of cattle

Dairy animals are characterized by a large volume of milk produced per kilogram of live weight.

Such an animal is characterized by:

  • lean build with weak muscles;
  • "Triangular" body when viewed from above (with extension to the back);
  • long neck and same long legs, straight back;
  • large udder with embossed veins and large nipples.

Did you know? At the first lactation, the productivity of the calf is approximately 60% of the average. Maximum milk yield is 5-6 calving. The cows of the dairy group are calm, they are adapted to various conditions of detention.


This is a Scottish breed. It is officially registered in 1862. Animals are well adapted to cold climates, economical in nutrition, characterized by early maturity and potentially early insemination. Great for personal homestead farming. The bones of the animal are thin and strong, and the body is angular with a large bath-like udder. The color of the skin is mottled - red-white.

Important! Ayrshire cows are difficult to characterize, they are timid and even aggressive.

They gain weight quickly: heifers - up to 480 kg, bulls - up to 800, calves are born with a weight of 25-30 kg, and in a year they increase weight up to 250 kg. The yield of meat is 50-60%, and delicious milk can be obtained up to 7000-8000 liters per year.


Until 1998, it was considered a Holstein variety, which it looks like. The breeding used the genes of simmental. The color of the animal is red-motley, and its growth reaches 1.4 m. The udder is cup-shaped. Maintenance does not require special conditions, but accurate adherence to feeding and milk yield is required to achieve optimal performance.

Learn more about the red-motley breed of cows. The weight of an adult cow can reach 680 kg, a calf is born 33–37 kg. The meat yield during fattening of bull-castrati is up to 60%. Milking - 5000-6000 liters with a fat content of up to 3.8%.

Black and white

The result of crossbreeding of local Russian and Dutch cows. One of the most common breeds, whose popularity is explained by excellent milk yield and good meat characteristics. The animals are large, the body is elongated, with a wide back; the udder is also large, asymmetrical. Height - 1.3 m. They require a large amount of feed. Pay attention to the detailed description of the black-motley breed of cows. The weight of a bull reaches 900 kg, cows gain up to 650 kg, and calves are born with a weight of 35 kg. Dairy indicators range from 5500 to 8000 liters per year with 3.7-3.9% fat. Slaughter meat yield - up to 55%.


The breed is over 200 years old. Relatively small animals up to 1.3 m tall, the body is angular, black in color with white spots on the head, stomach and legs. The muscles are weak. Nipples on the udder are characteristically spaced: the front is wider than the rear. It feels great in different climatic zones.

Read more about the Yaroslavl breed of dairy cows. The weight of the cow is fixed in the range of 450-550 kg, the bulls gain 600-800 kg. A newborn calf weighs 28–32 kg, its daily gain is about 750 g. Milking depends on feeding and, averaging 2700–3500 l, can reach 5500–6000 l per year. High fat milk - 4.5%. The meat yield is small: 43% for cows and up to 52% for castratus bulls.


First mentioned in the XVII century. Thanks to selection, modern animals have a strong constitution with growth up to 1.35 m and excellent milk production. The color is black and white. The Dutch gave their genes to almost all breeds of the dairy type. Animals are characterized by early maturity.

We advise you to read more about the Dutch breed of cows.

Dutch bulls reach 900-1000 kg, cows can weigh from 550 to 750 kg, and newborn calves show about 40 kg. The average annual milk yield is 4, 000–5, 000 liters with a fat content of 4%. When fattening, you can get up to 60% of high quality meat.

Red steppe

The Ukrainian breed was bred at the end of the 18th century, and by the end of the 20th century it was improved due to crossbreeding with the Danish and Angler ones. These are animals whose body is red, long, with a rounded udder. It differs from other breeds in the presence of light horns and black hooves. Growth - up to 1.3 m. It quickly acclimatizes in different regions. In arid areas, it is more resistant to disease than other breeds.

You will be interested to learn more about the red steppe breed of cows.

The weight of the bull reaches 900 kg, the cow - 470-520 kg, and the calf is born weighing about 25-30 kg. At the age of one year, the animal weighs 240–260 kg. Milk productivity - up to 4, 500 liters per year with a fat content of 3.6-3.8%. The meat of these steppe cows is tasty, its yield is about 53%.


North American breed. It is registered in 1983. Animals of black and white color are tall (cows - up to 1.45 m, bulls - up to 1.6 m). Tightened udder with a characteristic vein pattern. Reach puberty after one year. They require a large amount of high quality feed. Stressed. Not suitable for harsh climates.

Important! The Holstein breed is distinguished by pure selection, and when crossed with others, it can produce weak offspring. The weight of the bulls is about 900 kg, the cows gain 600-700 kg. With good nutrition, weight can increase by 200–300 kg. Calves at birth weigh from 38 to 50 kg. The meat of gobies is considered dietary and has an excellent taste, its yield is 55-60%. The milk yield reaches 7500 liters, and the milk fat content is 3.8%.


One of the oldest breeds native to the English island of Jersey. Small animals 1.25 m tall with beautiful honey-colored coat. The characteristic shape of the head and muzzle resembles a deer. A convenient shaped udder is great for milking. Keeping animals simple, they are undemanding to feed. Diseases of the legs are rarely affected.

Read more about the Jersey breed of cows.

The weight of an adult bull reaches 800 kg, the average cow weighs 400–500 kg, and the calf is born with a weight of 25 kg. Milk has an excellent taste and high fat content (6–7%), the separation of the creamy part is quick, with a clear separation. Annual milk yield is 5000–5500 liters. The meat yield is up to 55%, the taste is medium.


Russian breed with a long history. The body is angular, the chest is deep, the coat is black and white (very rarely red-mottled). The udder is small and symmetrical. They take root well in harsh conditions and are resistant to many infectious diseases. Learn more about the Kholmogorsk breed of cows. Cows gain up to 590 kg of live weight, bulls - up to 950 kg, calves - from 30 kg. Milk is 3, 500-4, 000 liters per year with a fat content of 3.7%. The meat yield is up to 50%.


As a result of crossbreeding with Dutch and hillocks, Tagil cows significantly improved their productivity. They can have any color. These animals are up to 1.3 m tall, with a strong constitution and different muscular structures (both powerful and baggy). Bulls have small horns, and cows are almost hornless.

The average weight of a Tagil bull is 750–900 kg, cows 450–500 kg, and a newborn calf 30–35 kg. Annual milk yield is fixed at 3, 500–4, 000 liters with a fat content of 4–4.5%. Meat yield up to 60%.

Meat breeds

Cows of meat direction should provide maximum weight gain with optimal, from an economic point of view, feeding.

Did you know? Most giant bulls live in the UK today. For example, a Charolais Field Marshal bull weighs over 1.7 tons with an increase of 1.9 meters (according to 2008). Signs of animal meat are obvious:

  • strong addition of a rectangular shape (side view and top view);
  • uniform development of the front and back;
  • powerful breasts and developed hips;
  • large size and high growth;
  • undeveloped udder in cows;
  • thick skin.
Meat breeds can gain weight intensively or slowly (hence the meat with different taste characteristics).


French animals from the Limousin region, where their breeding began in the middle of the 18th century. The body is massive, with medium strong legs and a small udder. The neck is short, the head with a large forehead. The skin color is golden brown. Unpretentious and frost-resistant, with easy calving. Bulls are aggressive (like calving cows, growing calves). Read more about the Limousin breed of cattle. The weight of the bull can be more than 1.3 tons, and cows do not gain more than 700 kg. Calves are born weighing 40 kg and grow 0.8-1 kg per day. High-quality meat with a low fat content and a yield of 60–65%. Milking is low (1300-1800 liters per year with a fairly high fat content of up to 5%).


The massive breed from France has been known since the 17th century. Actively crossed and was selected for growth and weight. A cow is much smaller than a bull. The color of the skin is from milky to brown. The body is rectangular, the neck with large skin folds. Animals grow up to 2 years, reaching a growth of 1.6 m.

The weight of the champion bull is 2 tons (an average of 1–1.6 tons). Cows gain up to 750 kg with growth up to 1.55 m. Calves are born weighing up to 70 kg (minimum 30).

Important! The high weight of calves often leads to birth injuries and a high mortality rate. The breed is characterized by good milk production - 2000-4000 liters with a fat content of 3.5-4.5%. The meat yield is up to 65%. Sharolezsky beef - lean meat of gentle taste.


English cows have been known since the 18th century. Animals of red color with white spots. The body is squat, with powerful legs and a broad back. Unpretentious in care, with stable immunity. Calves are highly viable. The meat is "marble", excellent taste. We recommend that you learn more about caring for the Hereford breed of cattle. The average weight of a Hereford bull is 1 ton, cows about 600 kg, a calf - 36 kg. The yield of meat is on average 60%, and can reach 70. The milk fat content is 4%, and the yield of milk per year is up to 1200 liters.


These hardy animals can survive in arid climates with extreme temperature changes and scarce food. The physique is compact, with a broad back. The color is red with white spots, the coat is dense. May be on year-round grazing. The meat is red with yellow veins, tasty. After calving, the cows become aggressive. Learn more about the Kalmyk breed of cows. A bull weighs 1 ton, a cow weighs 550 kg, and calves are born 25 kilograms. The annual milk yield is 1000–1200 liters, the fat content is 4.5%.

Belgian blue

A breed with a characteristic appearance and unlimited mass growth. Animals are distinguished by hypertrophied muscles, thin skin and rare coat of white-blue color. The character is calm, the immunity is unstable. Not suitable for northern regions. Need help with hotel.

Important! To obtain optimal mass growth, it is necessary to adhere to special feeding of calves with milk for up to 2 months. An adult bull weighs up to 1.25 tons, a cow - 900 kg. Demonstrate a fairly high dairy performance - up to 4500 liters per year. The yield of meat from the Belgians is 70–80%. Beef with a low fat content, great taste.

Kazakh white-headed

Animals are well adapted to local conditions, were crossed with Hereford and Kalmyk individuals. Strong physique, with massive hips and a broad back, Hereford color. Hardy and unpretentious, they perfectly tolerate the harsh climate. The meat with excellent taste, "marble".

Learn more about the Kazakh white-headed breed of cows.

Calves are born with a weight of up to 27 kg and grow with a gain of up to 1 kg per day. Cows gain up to 600 kg, and bulls - up to 1 ton. Meat yield - 60–65%, milk yield - up to 2000 liters per year with a fat content of 3.8%.


The Scottish breed was bred in the XVII century. Black suit, occasionally dark brown or grayish yellow. The wool is voluminous, sheep type, up to 20 cm long. Without horns. Withstands harsh climatic conditions. The cow is unpretentious to diet and care, precocious. Marble meat, high quality. Read more about the Galloway breed of cows. The mass of an adult bull is up to 800 kg, cows - up to 500 kg. A calf is born with a weight of up to 27 kg. The meat yield is over 65%. The average annual milk yield is up to 1, 500 liters.

Aberdeen Angus

The breed was bred in Scotland in the 19th century. Hornless animals of black or red color with short legs and pronounced meat forms. The bones are thin. Animals quickly build up mass and take first place in the precocity and quality of meat. They can be outdoors even in frost. The meat with excellent taste, different marbling, is considered the best choice for steaks. Learn more about the Aberdeen-Angus cow breed. The mass of the bull is up to 1 ton; cows weigh 500–700 kg. Calves are born weighing up to 25. The meat yield is approximately 60%. Milking up to 2000 liters per year. up to 480 kg, bulls - up to 800 kg, calves - 25-30 kg (increase weight to 250 kg per year). The yield of meat is 50-60%, and tasty milk with a fat content of 4% can be obtained up to 7000-8000 liters per year.

Meat and dairy breeds

Rocks of mixed direction are characterized by:

  • universality of application;
  • simple care and feeding;
  • quick adaptation to different conditions;
  • the possibility of mating with any type of breed.
Breeds of this type are one of the most popular.

Did you know? The life span of a cow depends on the country of residence. By tradition, centenarians come from India, where cows are considered sacred and live up to 20 years. Meat and milk breeds are not demanding on nutrition and are suitable for cultivation in the northern regions.


The result of crossing local Russian and Tyrolean animals. They are characterized by small growth (in the region of 1.2 m). The elongated shape of the body with a narrow chest is combined with a small but well-developed udder. The body color of the animal is red, interspersed with white. Animals are characterized by resistance to many diseases, including infectious diseases (leukemia, tuberculosis and brucellosis are ill in exceptional cases).

Important! The breed shows good productivity on free grazing (without compound feed and additives), but the structure of the udder is poorly suited for machine milking. Weight gain is average: cows reach 600 kg, bulls - 900 kg, calves are born weighing 25–28 kg. The meat yield is 55%. Milk yield is an average of 3000 liters per year. Milk is high in fat (4.2–6%).


Read more

Kostroma breed cow: description, care and feeding The breed was specially bred in wartime (1945) in order to receive good quality foodstuffs as soon as possible. Animals of red and gray shades have a developed body and short legs. They are characterized by resistance to leukemia.

Weight gaining fairly quickly: bulls reach 900 kg, cows - up to 700 kg, calves weigh about 40 kg. The meat yield is up to 65%.

The advantage of this breed is considered high milk yield: 4000-7000 liters per year. Milk of medium fat content (3.9%), the percentage of lactose is high (approximately 5%).


Known since 1780, when it was bred in the Ulyanovsk region of Russia. Its genes contain both local and European individuals (shorthorns and Dutch). Animals have medium height (up to 1.3 m) and strong build. Color red (sometimes light and dark). They are immune to leukemia, tuberculosis and other diseases. A cow can eat fodder of a rough type, due to which it is considered economical. Learn more about the content of Bestuzhev cows. Weight gain is quick: bulls reach 1 ton, cows - 400-700 kg, calves - 36 kg. The meat yield varies from 55 to 60%. "Bestuzhevki" demonstrate milk yield, which can be compared with dairy breeds. For a year, a cow can produce up to 5000 l (minimum 3000) of delicious milk with a fat content of up to 4%, and with improved feed - up to 5.5%.


The Swiss breed has been known since the beginning of the 19th century. It is divided into several subspecies at the place of distribution (northern, steppe, Far Eastern). The animals are distinguished by a powerful physique with a short neck and a wide chest, and growth at the withers is 1.4–1.5 meters. The skin color is mottled, fawn, red and red, and the head is most often white. We recommend that you learn more about Simmental cattle. Animals quickly gain weight: bulls can weigh about 1 ton, heifers - 600–700 kg, and newborn calves - 40–45 kg. In the first year of life, the weight gain is up to 400 kg. Simmental is characterized by a high yield of meat - 68–70% in adults and 55% - in young, but it contains a lot of bones. Milk yield is 3, 500-4, 000 liters per year, and its fat content is 4%.


One of the oldest breeds originating from Switzerland of the XIV century, the breed is distributed throughout Europe. It gained popularity due to its unpretentiousness in care and nutrition and good performance. Animals of light (blue or gray) color with dense coat well take root in cold areas. Adult growth is up to 1.3 m, and breast width is up to 70 cm. Check out the features of caring for the Swiss breed of cattle. Schweiz cows grow very quickly: in the first year, calves gain up to 400 kg (from an initial weight of 39 kg). The maximum weight of a bull is 1 ton, cows - 550–800. The meat yield (58–60%) is combined with a rather high milk yield of 4000–4500 liters per year. The fat content of milk is 3.8%.

The variety of cattle breeds allows you to choose the best animals for growing in various conditions, depending on the desired direction. Modern breeding continues to improve the characteristics of cows in order to maximize the benefits for breeders.

Interesting Articles