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Breeds of Cows Directory: "A": Africander - Ayshire

Information contained here is summarized from many different sources. Please refer to those sources for complete information. Major contributors are Oklahoma State University, Coroba University of Spain, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Domestic Animal Diversity Program of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Google Images and Wikipedia

We are converting the page from the long directory (below) to a list with links to each breed individually. Breeds that aren't linked currently have no information. (sorry)
  • Aberdeen-Angus/Angus
  • Abigar/Anuak
  • Abondance
  • Abyssian Highland Zebu
  • Abyssian Shorthorned Zebu
  • Aceh
  • Achham
  • Adamawa
  • Aden
  • Adwa
  • Afghan
  • Africander, Afrikaner, Africaner
  • Africangus
  • Agerolese
  • Alambadi
  • Ala-Tau
  • Albanian
  • Albanian Dwarf
Albčres (Massanaise [French])
This is a semi-feral breed found in the Albères Mountains and eastern Pyrenees of France and Spain. It is black, blond or brown in coloration and the breed is rare.[Oklahoma State University]
Aleppo see Damascus
Alentejana (also known as: Transtagana)
This breed is found in the region of Alentejo, Portugal. Used for meat production and as a draft animal, it is similar to the Retinta breed found in Spain. The Alentejana is golden red with long horns. The Mertolenga and the Southern Crioulo from Brazil orginated from this breed. [Oklahoma State University]
Allmogekor (also known as Peasantry Cows)
These cattle are often hardy and well adapted for extensive production, i.e. good foragers and very active. This makes them well suited for grazing on fields and woods in national parks, etc. [Oklahoma State University]
The American breed of cattle were developed by Art Jones on his ranch near Portales, New Mexico. This region of the United States is a harsh environment for cattle with only 8 to 12 inches of rain each year and much of the forage consisting of alkaline sacatone grass. Jones was using purebred Hereford cattle on his ranch but felt they were not capable of being profitable under his production conditions. He began crossing other breeds with his Hereford base to develop a breed more adapted to the area. Shorthorn were used for mothering and milking ability and Charolais for size and bone structure. When this combination was examined Jones felt that he still did not have the level of hybrid vigor for growth factors he desired. To improve these and improve the hardiness of the breed Brahman and American Bison were added to the final mixture.The breed now known as the American breed has the following breed composition: 1/2 Brahman, 1/8 Bison, 1/4 Charolais, 1/16 Hereford, 1/16 Shorthorn.[Oklahoma State University]
American White Park
The American White Park is a large white breed with black or red points (ears, nose and eyes). Cows average 1000 pounds and bulls between 1700-1800 pounds. The cattle are predominately polled with 3 to 5% horned. They are docile and the cows milk well.

Today, American White Parks are promoted and selected as a beef breed. The breed's origin, however, is not clear. Some think it is largely descended from the British White, a hornless, dual purpose breed from the eastern countries of England. Others feel that the American White Park is primarily Angus in origin with some White Park breeding introduced from the breeding pairs of White Park brought in during World War II to Canada. According to this theory the offspring of the original importation were sent to the Bronx Zoo, from there they were split into two groups. One was sent to the King Ranch in Texas and formed the nucleus herd of the White Park in the United States. The second groups was sent to Washington and played a part in the formation of the American White Park.

Regardless of the origin of the breed the American White Park should not be confused with the ancient White Park of Britain. In genetic marker tests the White Park has been found to be a very distinct breed from either the American White Park or the British White breed so any contribution they may have made to these breeds has been greatly diluted by the introduction of other breeds The American White Park is comparable in size to the Hereford, Angus, and Shorthorn cattle.[Oklahoma State University]

The Amerifax originated in the United States. They are a mixture of 5/8 Angus and 3/8 Beef Friesian. They can be either red or black and are polled (hornless). The breed society was formed in 1977.
Amrit Mahal
Amrit Mahal literally means the department of milk. Originally the rulers of Mysore State had started an establishment of cattle collected from the prevalent types of cattle within the area for the supply of milk and milk products to the palace. At the same time, the bullocks were utilized for the movement of army equipage. The bullocks were regularly classified as gun bullocks, pack bullocks, plow bullocks, etc. They attracted great attention during the nineteenth century on account of their endurance and the speed with which they could move army equipment. It is claimed that they could maneuver a march of 100 miles in 2 1/2 days. The cattle of Amrit Mahal establishment originally comprised three distinct varieties: Hallikar, Hagalvadi and Chitaldroog. Prior to 1860 it seems that these three varieties were maintained separate from each other. In 1860, the whole establishment was liquidated for reasons of economy. By the year 1866, it was realized that an establishment for the supply of cattle was necessity, and during the year a herd was again established. Thus, the foundation cattle from which the Amrit Mahal breed was developed were of the Hallikar and closely related types. [Oklahoma State University]
Anatolian Black, Also known by: Anadolu Yerli Kara
Anatolia, the Asia Minor portion of Turkey, has supported shorthorned cattle since the Hittite period over 4000 years ago. Today the Anatolian Black is Turkey's most popular breed. It is hardy, disease resistant and tolerant of poor care, meager diet and adverse climate conditions.

On small farms it is used as a work animal, and the cows are kept for milk. Experiments have shown that he Anatolian Black can be fattened rapidly and that the cows can produce as much as 1890 kg of milk with a 5 - 8% fat content.

The conformation of the breed tends to vary. Some animals exhibit a more typical beef build and others tend toward dairy. The legs are short and thick and the neck long with a large dewlap. The coat is brown-black to dark gray. Females average 100-115 cm in height and 150 to 250 kg in weight [Oklahoma State University]

Andalusian Black, Also known by: Negra andaluza, Negra campiñesa, Negra de las Campiñas andaluzas
This breed is similar to the Black Iberian cattle. The Andalusian Black is found in western Andalucía in Spain. They are typically black or black-brown in coloration.

The Andalusian Black is an old work breed which was brought from Castilla to its current location. It can still be found in isolated herds in the regions around Sevilla, Cordoba, Cadiz and Huelva. Females average 135 cm in height and 400 kg in weight. Bulls stand 140 cm and weigh 750 kg. [Oklahoma State University]Image source: Universidad de Córdoba, Spain

Andalusian Grey, Also known by: Cárdena Andaluza (Spanish)
The Andalusian Grey is a rare strain of the Andalusian Black with blue roan coloration. The breed is found in the mountains of North Córdoba and North Huelva in Spain. The Spanish government has sponsored a herd of these cattle in Badajoz in an attempt to prevent their extinction.[Oklahoma State University] Image source: Universidad de Córdoba, Spain
Andaluz see Costeño con Cuernos
The Angeln may of existed for over 5000 years in Germany. In Angeln, the northern part of Schleswig-Holstein (near the Danish border), they were first mentioned in writings in about 1600. The planned breeding of the breed has been practiced since 1830.

The Angeln is known for producing milk of high butterfat content. The current breeding aim is 9000 kg of milk with 4.8 % fat and 3.8 % protein. The fully grown cows should reach about 140 – 145 cm height and should reach a live weight of 650 kg. It is smaller than the Danish Red, with cows averaging 550 kg and bulls 900 kg. Cows stand 129 cm, while bulls stand 143 cm. Average yields are 5,200 kg of 4.6% milk per lactation.

The breed characteristics are

* a very economic relationship between total feed input and milk yield
* a high content of milk solids
* easy calving
* low calf losses

Angus are hardy, undemanding, adaptable, mature at around two years of age, and have a high carcass yield with marbled meat. They are good natured in comparison to several breeds but are more aggressive than the breeds such as the Hereford. Angus are used as beef cattle and are not used for milk intended for human consumption . They are used widely in crossbreeding to improve marbling and milking ability. Angus females calve easily (i.e., give birth without as much stress), partly because of the small size of a typical Angus calf, and have good calf rearing ability. They are also used as a genetic dehorner as the polled gene is passed on as a dominant trait.

As of the latter part of 2003 and early 2004, the American fast food industry has assisted in a public relations campaign to promote the supposedly superior quality of beef produced from Angus cattle (“Angus beef”). McDonalds is currently testing hamburgers made with Angus beef at six Los Angeles-area restaurants and have said that customer response to the burgers has been positive. In 2006, Burger King released the "Angus Burger" nationally in the US, UK and Spain.

In another attempt to promote the consumption of beef from Angus cattle, the American Angus Association set up the "certified Angus Beef" brand in 1978. The goal of this brand is to promote the idea that Angus beef is of higher quality than beef from other breeds of cattle. In order for beef to be considered "Certified Angus Beef," it must come from cattle that are at least 51% black in coloration and exhibit Angus-like characteristics. [Wikipedia] [Oklahoma State University]

Ankole, Also Known As: Ankole Longhorn, Varieties: Bahema, Bashi, Kigezi, Watusi
The Ankole cattle are distributed from Lake Mobutu to Lake Tanganyika in eastern Africa. The original animals were thought to have been brought to northern Uganda by Hamitic tribes sometime between the 13th and 15th centuries. The Ankole's susceptiblity to the tsetse fly forced the tribes and their cattle further south. The Hima or Bahima tribe settled on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzani. The Watusi or Tutsi tribe continued to Rwanda and Burundi with their cattle, some of which have spread to the lake districts of Zaire. Selection in all the tribes is based on horn size.

The purer Ankole cattle have a medium-long head, a short neck with a deep dewlap and a narrow chest. The hump is cervico-thoracic, small and barely visible on the cow. Although the small-uddered Ankole cows yield meager amounts of milk, milking is an important ritual in some tribes. Bloodletting is a common practice. A few tribes use the cattle for work, none use them for meat. In general the animals are highly prized as status symbols, for ceremonial functions and not for their productivity.

Ankole are of the Sanga type, often the coloration is red but fawn, black or pied are not uncommon. This breed was used in the development of the Ankole-Watusi in the United States.[Oklahoma State University]


Ankole-Watusi cattle are the show-stoppers of the bovine kingdom. Medium-sized animals, with long, large-diameter horns, they attract attention wherever they appear. These regal animals can easily trace their ancestry back more than 6,000 years and have often been referred to as "cattle of kings."

Long-horned, humpless domestic cattle were well established in the Nile Valley by 4000 B.C. These cattle, known as the Egyptian or Hamitic Longhorn, appear in pictographs in Egyptian pyramids. Over the next twenty centuries (2.000 years), the Egyptian Longhorn migrated with its owners from the Nile to Ethiopia, and then down to the southern reaches of Africa.

The Ankole-Watusi should appear elegant, well-bred, and graceful. A straight topline and a sloping rump are required; a neck hump is preferred, but not required. Cattle may be solid or spotted in color. Horns are long and symmetrical, with a base large and proportional to horn length. Lyre and circular shapes are preferable to flat. The Ankole-Watusi is medium in size, with cows weighing 900 - 1200 pounds and bulls weighing 1000 - 1600 pounds. Newborn calves weigh 30 - 50 pounds. This small birth-weight makes Ankole-Watusi bulls useful for breeding to first-calf-heifers of other breeds. During the day, calves sleep together, with an "auntie" cow for protection. At night, the herd-members sleep together, with the calves in the center of the group for protection. The horns of the adults serve as formidable weapons against any intruders.

The milk is about 10 percent fat. Some dairy farmers have used crossbred Ankole-Watusi cows in their herds to boost the butter-fat levels.

Because they were developed in a climate where daily temperatures may range from 20 to 120 degrees F, Ankole-Watusi tolerate temperature and weather extremes well. The large horns act as radiators; blood circulating through the horn area is cooled and then returned to the main body. This allows excess body heat to be dispersed. [Oklahoma State University]

Antioquia see Blanco Orejinegro
Arab see Maure
Ardebili see Sarabi
Argentine Criollo
The Argentine Criollo is one of the Criollo type cattle found in the Americas and include the Texas Longhorn amoung others. The origin of Criollo cattle goes back to the first bovines brought by Columbus in his travels to America in 1493. These cattle were selected in Andalusia and they spread in the New World with the colonization expeditions. Because of this, they quickly spread throughout the Americans adapting to the diverse climatic conditions. From this original seedstock they have adapted and multiples and now comprise breeds found from the patagonian glaciers to the North American west.

The Argentine Criolla cow is medium size (400-440 kg), of angular conformation, with a high tailhead indicating easier calving. The daily milk production is good (4-6 daily liters). Mature weights of the bulls varies from 600 to 800 kg.

The breed is docile and easily worked with horses. They exhibit all the possible color patterns of the Bos taurus, on the white basic layers, doradillas and blacks, with all their well-known combinations. Their fertility and ease of calving make them a good breed for less intensive systems. Its genetic variability is another one of the advantages to be considered when they are used in a crossbreeding program because it assures a greater hybrid vigor.

The maternal ability of the femailes are reflected in the high weaning weights of the calves, up to 50% of the cows own body weight. The good milk production of the cows also offers a possibility for the dual-operation in zones at where the traditional milk races cannot survive. Their hardiness and longevity are some of the advantages that the Criollo breed passes on to its offspring. [Oklahoma State University]

Asturian Mountain Also known by: Asturiana de la Montaña, Casina, Asturiana Oriental

Asturian Mountain is a local Spanish beef breed of enormous foraging capacity and good maternal ability. It is reared in extensive conditions in the East of the "Principado de Asturias", in the north of Spain, mainly in the mountain range of the "Picos de Europa" within the National Park of Covadonga.

The following points can be considered as the standard breed characteristics: Medium head with straight profile and big occipital protuberance. Small ears with much hair and slightly prominent eyes with a calm look. Horns born in the elongation of the nape of the neck, shorter and wider in the bulls, horizontal in the base and directed ahead and up with their ends directed to the back and outside. Medium neck, thin except in the male, muscled and with a big and discontinuous dewlap, which continues in little and lean withers, well-joined to the slightly muscular back but well-directed, with a slightly saddled back which ends in the hindquarters, narrow in its back diameters and slightly bent, with the birth of the tail often lifted up.
Descending chest, deep and spacious breast, and well-proportioned abdomen. Short or medium extremities, beefy on the top with very thin skeletal ratios and small, round and hard hoof. Mammary glands with good development and great quality, well-implanted teats and thin and soft skin.
Brown coat, more or less discolored to cream tones, with a white band round the snout and eyes and degraded to creamy colors on the inner part of the extremities, mammary gland, inner part of the thigh and perineal areas. Intensification of the color with black hairs in the edge of the ears and less intense on the edge of the dewlap. The ends, snout, budding horns, eye circles, tail end, and scrotum circle in males, are black as well as the eyelids and eyelashes. The mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, tongue, anus, and vulva are black or slate black. [Oklahoma State University]

Asturian Valley, Also Known by: Asturiana de los Valles, Carreñana, Asturiana Occidental
The Asturian Valley is a local Spanish beef breed of enormous foraging ability and good maternal qualities reared in extensive conditions in the southwest of the "Principado de Asturias" in the North of Spain.

This breed had a very large population in the ancient times, but the introduction of more specialized European breeds, caused a gradual and general decrease in the number of pure breed individuals along the present century in a fast absorption process. However, a slight increase in the number of registered animals took place in the eighties, and this tendency continues. Now the breed is expanding not only in number of individuals but also geographically, from its traditional distribution area in the southwest of Asturias towards the north of Leon, Galicia and Cantabria.

Asturian Valley have a straight profile, chestnut coats with tones ranging from very pale yellow in the lightest coats of the females to a reddish tone, with discolored cream in the inner part of the extremities and around the snout and black in the end and front of the extremities. In males, the coat is generally darker and more so at the back of the head, neck and dewlap, bottom of the abdomen and in the feet, where the color is completely black. Light colored coats are rare. Always black, the tone of the mucus membranes is typical of the breed, as is a more or less marked black spot under the eyes, and at the end of the tail, round the eyes and hoofs. The horn is white but its end is black.

Different coats constitute the most frequent defects, disqualifying for the Herdbook, specially those which tend to gray as it is considered evidence of presence of Brown Swiss blood. Similarly, animals with white spots, or tones different from the slate black in the mucous membranes and end of the tail or other serious morphological defects shall not be included in the Herdbook.

Asturian Valley cows are good mothers, calve with ease, show high fertility and wean large, well-shaped calves. Surprisingly for those not used to them, they are very calm animals, which makes handling very easy. Moreover, they are rustic animals which manage well in difficult lands and endure extreme temperatures well.[Oklahoma State University]

Asturiana Occidental see Asturian Valley (above)
Asturiana Oriental see Asurian Mountain (above)
Aubrac, Also Known As: Laguiole
The Aubrac are found in Aveyron-Lozère, France. Their development started during the 1600's at the Benedictine Abbey of Aubrac in the south of France, where the controlled breeding was practised until the Abbey was destroyed during the French Revolution. Selective breeding was promoted between 1840 and 1880, with Brown Swiss blood used to improve the breed. They are used primarily for meat production although, historically, they were also used as draft animals and for milk. They are usually fawn to brown in color. The females average 125 cm in height and weigh 580 kg. The average bull stands 130 cm and weighs 825 kg. Lactation averages 2,180 kg at 4.13% fat in 248 days. [Oklahoma State University]
The creation of this breed started in 1885 in the Aulie-Ata district of Kirgizia. The local Kazakh cattle were crossed with the Dutch Black Pied breed and the crosses were bred inter se. The crossbreds gradually spread to other regions of Kirgizia and Kazakhstan and to some areas of Uzbekistan. They were recognized as an official breed in 1950. Planned breeding of Aulie-Ata cattle began in 1935 when collective breeding farms and state breeding stations were set up; local cows were initially crossed with East Friesian bulls and the crosses were raised under improved conditions of feeding and management.

Modern Aulie-Ata cattle are well adapted to the local natural and climatic conditions; they can easily withstand hot weather, can be kept on mountain pastures, and they are more resistant than imported breeds to theileriosis and piroplasmosis.[Oklahoma State University]

Australian Braford
The Australian Braford breed was developed in Queensland in the period between 1946 and 1952. It is now a stabilized breed with approximately 50 percent Hereford and 50 percent Brahman genetic background.

The breed carries many of the Brahman characteristics, such as a hump, loose skin, short coat, etc. whilst its color markings are those of the Hereford. It is heat resistant and relatively tick tolerant, and performs will in harsh tropical conditions. Equally, the breed is building an excellent reputation in the more temperate areas of Australia. [Oklahoma State University]

Australian Friesian Sahiwal
This breed is being developed in Australia by the Queensland Government for use in the tropical areas. The breed was evolved using the Sahiwal, a dairy strain of Zebu from Pakistan, and the Australian Holstein-Friesian.

Since the 1960’s when research work began on this breed, notable progress has been achieved towards the objective of combining tick resistance and heat tolerance with reliable milk production and fertility. It has now been extensively tested in the tropical and sub-tropical areas of Australia. Under these conditions, it outperforms the Holstein Friesian by approximately 15 percent. [Oklahoma State University]

Australian Lowline
Lowline cattle were developed as a part of a major research project initiated at Trangie Agricultural Research Centre in 1974 to investigate the implications of selection for growth rate.

Initially, 85 low growth rate cows were selected from the Trangie Angus herd to establish the original "Lowline" herd. These cows were joined to yearling bulls also selected for low growth rate from birth to yearling age. At the same time a high growth rate line (Highline) and a randomly selected line (Controline) were established. This unique experimental method was chosen to generate a rapid divergence in growth rate, through conventional within herd selection, in the shortest possible time.

Since 1974, the “Lowline” herd has remained completely closed, with all replacement bulls and heifers selected from within the line on the basis of low growth rate performance. As a consequence, “Lowline” animals are now smaller than the Control and Highline animals at all stages, from birth to maturity. [Oklahoma State University]

Australian Milking Zebu
In an effort to overcome the problems of traditional dairy breeds performing at reduced levels under hot, humid and tick-infested conditions, the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) developed the Australian Milking Zebu (AMZ). This began in the mid-1950’s with the introduction of Pakistani Sahiwal and Red Sindhi dairy cattle, which were mated initially to high-producing Jersey cattle. Later, some infusion of Illawarra, Guernsey and Holstein-Friesian bloodlines occurred.

Careful interbreeding of the half-bred progeny, combined with strict selection criteria, have resulted in the AMZ breed. Selection is for heat tolerance, tick resistance and milk production alone.

Mature purebred AMZ cows produce an average of 2,700 liters of milk over a 12 month period, while AMZ cross Friesian cows average more than this. Quality of milk is very high and protein level is approximately 3.5 to 4 percent.

The AMZ carries the color markings and general shape of the Jersey, but also shows the tropical influence of the Sahiwal and Red Sindhi breeds through the ability to sweat and discard ticks from a highly mobile, loose skin. [Oklahoma State University]

Austrian Blond see Carinthian Blond
The Ayrshire breed originated in the County of Ayr in Scotland, prior to 1800. The county is divided into the three districts of Cunningham, in the more northern part, Kyle, which lies in the center, and Carrick, which forms the southern part of the county. During its development, it was referred to first as the Dunlop, then the Cunningham, and finally, the Ayrshire. How the different strains of cattle were crossed to form the breed known as Ayrshire is not exactly known. There is good evidence that several breeds were crossed with native cattle to create the foundation animals of the breed. In Agriculture, Ancient and Modern, published in 1866, Samual Copland describes the native cattle of the region as "diminutive in size, ill-fed, and bad milkers." Prior to 1800 many of the cattle of Ayrshire were black, although by 1775 browns and mottled colors started to appear.
Ayrshires are red and white, and purebred Ayrshires only produce red and white offspring. Actually, the red color is a reddish-brown mahogany that varies in shade from very light to very dark. On some bulls, the mahogany color is so dark that it appears almost black in contrast to the white. There is no discrimination or registry restriction on color patterns for Ayrshires. The color markings vary from nearly all red to nearly all white. The spots are usually very jagged at the edges and often small and scattered over the entire body of the cow. Usually, the spots are distinct, with a break between the red and the white hair. Some Ayrshires exhibit a speckled pattern of red pigmentation on the skin covered by white hair. Brindle and roan color patterns were once more common in Ayrshires, but these patterns are rare today. [Oklahoma State University]

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