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Breeds of Cows Directory: "D": Dajal - Dutch Friesian

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


The Dajal are a draft type of cattle and are found mainly in the Dajal area in district Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab Province. Their color is white or gray, deepening to almost black on the neck, shoulder and hump in mature males. The average weight at maturity of Dajal cattle is 500 kg for males and 390 kg for females.

The Dajal breed is an off shoot of Bhagnari breed, having almost similar points. However, Dajal cattle are comparatively smaller in size and lighter in color. [Oklahoma State University]

Dama see N'dama
Damascene see Damascus (below)
Damascus, Also Known By: Aleppo, Damascene, Halabi, Kilis (Turkey), Shami, Shamia
The Damascus is thought to be of Anatolian origin from the Hittite period. They are considered to be the best dairy breed in the Middle East. Others even consider it the best non-European dairy breed. The average milk yield is 2,000 to 4,500 kg with 4% fat with exceptional individuals having production levels as high as 7,250 kg.

The breed is raised with meticulous care, given supplemental feeds and house inside during the rainy season and at night - all of which are unusual practices for the region.

Damascus are usually dark red to brown or nearly black with occasional tan individuals. They are the largest of the Middle Eastern breeds with cows weighing 340 to 500 kg and bulls weighing 700 to 750 kg.

Total population of the breed is estimated at 10,000 and is endanger of extinction. In field work with the breed, the Department of Animal Science at the University of Cukurova (Adana, Turkey) found them to be well adapted to high temperature and humidity and resistant to malaria. They also found the Damascus to have a comparable milk yield in semi-intensive production. [Oklahoma State University]

Damietta, Also Known By: Domiatta, Domiatti, Domyati, Dumiati, Dumyati
The Damietta is found in the north eastern portion of the Nile delta and the Mediterranean coast. A variety of Egyptian, it is an important dairy animal for the region. The breed bears a strong resemblance to the Shami (Damascus) breed of Syria but has finer and more erect horns. Damietta are usually red but will occasionally have some white markings.[Oklahoma State University]
Dangis have taken their name from the tract of the country in Bombay State known as Dangs. It is a hilly tract with heavy rainfall and very poor agricultural economy. The breed has become well-known on account of its hardy nature and its ability to work hard under heavy rainfall conditions. The Dangi breed, which is similar to Deoni, appears to fit into the group of cattle represented by the Gir, Red Sindhi and Sahiwal.
The Dangis are of broken red and white or black and white color. The animals are medium in size, with deep bodies and generally of ponderous build. The height behind the hump ranges from about 45 to 50 inches while the heart girth measures from about 58 to 60 inches, on the average.

The head is usually small with a slightly protruding forehead. The muzzle is large. The horns, though of variable size, are generally short and thick. The ears are small.

The animals have powerful hind and forequarters with a short back well-coupled, and the legs are short and stout. The hooves are exceptionally hardy, being black and flint-like. The dewlap is slightly pendulous. The sheath, though loose, is not excessively pendulous. The hump is medium-sized and firm. The skin is of medium thickness and the coat is shiny. It is observed to exude an oily secretion which protects it from heavy rain.

The Dangis are primarily medium-slow draft animals. They are well-known for their excellent working qualities in heavy rain and in rice fields and also on the hilly tracks. They are hardy animals and subsist mostly on grazing alone. As draft animals they carry heavy timber at the rate of 2 to 3 miles per hour depending upon the type of terrain and can cover a distance of 20 to 24 miles per day.

Cows are poor milkers but attempts have been made to improve their milking qualities.[Oklahoma State University]

Danish Jersey
The Danish Jersey is found in Denmark, especially West Fünen. It is a variety of Jersey developed from imports from Sweden during the late 1800's and from Jersey during the early 1900's. The breed society was formed in 1902 and the herdbook established in 1925.[Oklahoma State University]
Danish Red, Also Known By: Rødt Dansk Malkekvog (Danish), Fünen, Red Dane, Red Danish
The Danish Red is of the Baltic Red cattle type and originated on the islands off the coast of Denmark. The breed was developed from North Slesvig Red, with Angeln and Ballum, crossed with the local island cattle. During the 1970's Brown Swiss breeding was introduced into the bloodlines.

In the early 1960s this breed accounted 61% for of Danish cattle stock, by the early 1980s this number had declined to a little over 20%. This was largely due to the introduction of higher producing Dutch Friesian cattle.

The bulls, which are typically darker red, have an average weight of 1000 kg. Cows average 660 kg and show a typical dairy conformation. In 1977, cows yielded an average of 5,240 kg of milk containing 4.17% fat during a lactation. [Oklahoma State University]

Del Cubante (Avellino) see Marchigiana
The Deoni breed of cattle also sometimes known as Dongari (which means "of the hills"), has been evolved within the last 200 years. It is claimed that it has been developed from a strain descended from the mixture of Gir, Dangi and local cattle. A contribution from the Gir type of cattle is quite evident in the formation of the head and ears, and also of the horns to a certain extent. They also show a great similarity in general conformation and ruggedness to the Dangi cattle of Bombay State, an area which is not far from the Deoni cattle breeding area.
The Deoni is a medium-sized animal which resembles the Gir in physical structure to a large extent. The body color is usually spotted black and white. The face is also similarly patchy and spotted with black and white. The forehead is convex and bulging, though breeders have not paid the same scrupulous attention to this trait as the breeders of Gir cattle, and though the ears are long and open forward they lack the leaflike structure and also the notch at the tip of the ear that is typical of the Gir. The horns in typical animals take a characteristic outward and backward curve similar to that generally to be seen in Gir cattle.

The skin is loose and of medium thickness. The dewlap is heavy and the sheath is usually pendulous. The hair is soft and short. The cows have a fairly well-developed udder. The body is massive and upstanding with considerable depth. The hooves are well-made and shapely and of a black color. The body structure gives appearance of strength.[Oklahoma State University]

Deutshe Rotbunte see German Red Pied
Deutsches-Angus-Fleischrind, Deutsche Angus see German Angus
Devon, Also Known as North Devon
The Devon, sometimes called North Devon, to distinguish it from the South Devon breed, is one of the oldest beef breeds in existence today. In fact some authorities consider the Devon's origin to be prehistoric, the assumption being that the breed descended directly from Bos lonqifrons, the smaller type of aboriginal cattle in Britain. In fact, according to an offical reference material compiled by the Devon Cattle Breeders Society, Somerset, England; Devon Cattle - The Red Rubies, it appears that the Red Cattle of North Devon may have contributed to the Hereford and other British breeds.

The Devon was previously classified as a dual-purpose breed. Over the past half century, however, the breed has--through selection--evolved as a beef-type breed which is registered and promoted by the Devon Cattle Association, Inc. A Milking Devon strain (unique to America) has been maintained and is represented by the American Milking Devon Cattle Association.

The native home of the Devon is in southwestern England, primarily in the counties of Devon, Somerset, Cornwall, and Dorset. For centuries, herds of red cattle grazed the grass covered hills of this cool, moist region. History records that the Romans took notice of the red cattle when they occupied this area in 55 B.C. There is some evidence that the seagoing Phoenicians may have brought some ancestral red stock from northern Africa or the Middle East to Southwestern England during their visitations for tin. Some animals breeders speculate that this might account for the Devon's remarkable adaptation to hot climates in spite of its centuries of exposure to the damp, chilly hills of England's Atlantic coast.

The early improvers of the Devon breed were Francis Quartly and his brothers William and Henry, and John Tanner Davy and his brother William. It is generally agreed that Francis Quartly accomplished for the Devon what the Collings did for the Shorthorn. Colonel John Tanner Davy founded the Devon herdbook in 1850. In 1884, the Devon Cattle Breeders' Society was organized and took over the herdbook.

Only 131 years after Columbus discovered North America, the first Devon cattle reached what is now the United States. The year was 1623. The ship Charity brought a consignment of red cattle (one bull and three heifers) from Devonshire to Edward Winslow, the agent for Plymouth Colony. These red cattle of Devonshire, brought in by the Pilgrims, were probably the first purebred cattle to reach North America.

During its long history in the United States, numerous breeders have been instrumental in bringing the Devon in America to a high degree of excellence. From the earlier dual-purpose type, beef conformation has been enhanced while retaining adequate milk production. Rate of maturity has been accelerated. The more common criticisms of light hindquarters and sickle hocks have been reduced to minimum. And, in keeping with newer concepts in America of "ideal" beef form, Devons have been made longer, taller, and trimmer but, fortunately, not to extremes as is true for some "exotic" breeds.

Although the Devon was originally a horned breed, American stockmen developed a polled strain of purebred Devons. It traces back to the bull Missouri 9097, a hornless "sport" or mutation that was born in 1915 in the purebred Devon herd owned by Case and Elling in Concordia, Missouri.

Devon cattle are red in color, varying in shade from a rich deep red to a light red or chestnut color. A bright ruby red color is preferred and accounts for their nickname, the "Red Rubies." The hair is of medium thickness and is often long and curly during the winter; however, coats are short and sleek in summer.

Modern Devons have adequate size and scale but are not "horsey" big. Mature bulls in good working condition weigh from 1700 to about 2200 pounds with a few in top flesh condition exceeding the later figure. Mature cows range in weight from about 950 to about 1300 pounds. Thus, Devons have enough size to be practical and profitable without the handicap of excessive maintenance cost.

Calving problems are seldom encountered although a growing stress on using larger bulls has increased the incidence of difficult births. Male calves average about 75 pounds at birth but may range from about 55 to 95 pounds. Heifer calves average about 70 at birth but may range from about 45 to 90 pounds.

The functional characteristics of the Devon make them a valuable "genetic tool" for the commercial beef industry. The breed has long been noted for its fertility, calving ease, docility, hardiness and ability to adapt to temperature extremes. The well-developed heat-regulating mechanism of the scrotum of Devon bulls give them an unusual ability to remain fertile despite extremely high environmental temperatures.

Devons are active good "walkers" and are excellent rustlers and grazers. In England, they are known as "the Beef Breed Supreme at Grass." Their ability to efficiently utilize grass and other forages has heightened their popularity in areas like southern Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand. [Oklahoma State University]

The native home of the Dexter is in the southern part of Ireland where they were bred by small holders and roamed about the shelterless mountainous districts in an almost wild state of nature.

The origin of the Dexter is quite obscure. The common assumption has been that this breed is a cross between the Kerry and some other breed, perhaps the Devon. It has also been claimed that a "Mr. Dexter," who was agent to Lord Hawarden, is responsible for this Irish breed.

The introduction of the Dexter to America probably occurred long ago, when no discrimination was made between Kerry and Dexter in importations. The first recorded knowledge of Dexters in America is when more than two hundred Dexters were imported to the United States between 1905 and 1915. A large percentage of these were imported to Elmendorf Farm (Elmendorf herd) of Kentucky, Howard Gould (Castlegould herd) of New York, and James J. Hill (North Oaks herd) of Minnesota. In 1917, the Castlegould herd was sold to Daniel Guggenheim of Port Washington, who changed the herd name to Hempstead House. Several years later, a part of the Hempstead herd was sold to Mrs. Louisa Satterlee (Dover House Farm) of Greenwich, Connecticut.

Two of our present herds got their Dexters directly from the above mentioned herds. Foundation stock for the Clove Brook herd (now owned by Jan van Heerden, son-in-law of Mabel Ingalls) was obtained from Mrs. Ingalls' mother, Mrs. Louisa Satterlee. The foundation for the Peerless herd at Decorah, Iowa, was obtained by John Logsdon from the Elmendorf Farm, August A. Busch and James J. Hill, in 1919. Later, two bulls were obtained successively from Daniel Guggenheim, owner of Hempstead House herd. In 1944, when the Peerless herd had their first public sale, the herd numbered 150 head of cows and heifers. Peerless herd is the oldest Dexter herd in the United States.

Since 1950, Mrs. Mabel Ingalls, Stewart and Frances Kellog, Edward C. Lord and Mrs. Margaret Rhodes have imported several head of Dexters from England. A number of these and their offspring have been sold to other breeders. In 1982, Mrs. Doris Crowe of Canada imported several head from England and sold several head to interested new parties.

The first A.I. program was introduced in 1968.

In recent years there has been a worldwide surge of interest in Dexter cattle. These gentle, hardy and easy to handle animals are one of the world's smallest bovines. They require less pasture and feed than other breeds. They thrive in hot as well as cold climates and do well outdoors year round, needing only a windbreak, shelter and fresh water. Fertility is high and calves are dropped in the field without difficulty. They are dual purpose, being raised for both milk and meat.

Size and Appearance
According to the standards adopted by the American Dexter Cattle Association, the ideal three year old Dexter bull measures 38 to 44 inches at the shoulder and weighs less than 1000 pounds. The ideal three year old Dexter cow measures between 36 to 42 inches at the shoulder, and weighs less than 750 pounds. There are two varieties of Dexters, short legged and long legged or Kerry type. Milk and beef production and other characteristics are generally the same for both types. The same dam and sire may produce a short legged calf in one mating and a long legged calf the next.

Most Dexters are solid black. Red or dun are less common. Horns on cows are fine and curved forward. Bulls' horns are thick, solid, and slightly curved at the tips. The distinctive head is short and wide between the eyes, with straight sides.

A milking cow can produce more milk for its weight than any other breed. The daily yield averages 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 gallons with a butterfat content of 4 to 5 percent. Yields of cream up to one quart per gallon are possible. The cream can be skimmed for butter or ice cream.

Beef animals mature in 18 months and result in small cuts of high quality lean meat, graded choice, with little waste. The expectable average dress out is 50 to 60 percent and the beef is slightly darker red than that of other breeds. [Oklahoma State University]

The Dhanni is a draft type that is found in Attock, Rawalpindi and Jhelum districts in Punjab Province of Pakistan. The coloring in the majority of Dhanni cattle consists of black or red/brown spots on a white coat. The average weight at maturity is 400 kg for males and 300 kg for females.

The Dhanni is of medium size, compact body with comparatively straight back, fine skin, small head, stumpy horns, ears small and alert, compact hump, small dewlap, tight sheath, whip like tail ending in a white switch, and a small udder. It is a sturdy animal having great agility, suitable for light draught work. The following variations in body color of Dhanni animals are generally found:

* predominately white coat with black spots (Chitta Burga)
* predominately black coat with white spots (Kala Burga)
* white mottles with brown and black patches (Nuqra)
* Greater part is red with white spotting on certain parts of the body (Ratta Burga). [Oklahoma State University]

Dogu Anadolu Kirmizisi see East Anatolian Red
This is a non-commercial rare breed with a registered population of 40 heifers (2 years and younger) and 85 cows as of January 1995.

The Dølafe is a small-boned dual purpose cow with short legs. They are normally horned but naturally polled animals do occur. It is a multicoloured breed, ranging form almost uniformly dark brown or brindle animals to piebald (white), brown and black individuals. Live weight is approximately 450-500 kg. Semen reserves in 1995 was 16,564 units (14 bulls). [Oklahoma State University]

Domiatta, Domiatti, Domyati see Damietta (above)
Dongolé see Kuri
The Droughtmaster were developed in northern Queensland, Australia’s hot tropical north. Initial crossing of Shorthorn and Brahman breeds led to selective breeding of the progeny to arrive finally at a fixed tropical breed containing approximately 50 percent Shorthorn and 50 percent Brahman bloodlines. Its popularity has increased to the degree that is spread throughout most states of Australia, although they are found mainly in Queensland.

The breed is basically red in color, although variations from a golden honey color to dark red occur. Droughtmasters are either polled or horned with the majority of stud cattle exhibiting the poll characteristic. Their heat and tick tolerance, excellent fertility, ease of calving and quiet temperament give this breed a good reputation.

Droughtmasters exhibit medium to slightly late maturity in carcass development. They have gained a reputation for producing lean carcasses in the yearling to two year old steer group, although large bullocks are produced, particularly in northern Queensland. [Oklahoma State University]

Dulong cattle are found in the northwest of Yunnan Province, and captured by local hunters in the mountainous area of Dulong Autonomous County. They feed on bamboo, reed, weeds, etc., and graze on the mountains all year round.

Dulong have a larger body size than the local yellow cattle, with the males weighing from 400-600kg (880-1325 lbs) and the females 350-450 kg (770-990 lbs). They have a black or brown hair coat, white feet and short horns stretching laterally.

Dulongs are late in maturity with the average age at first mating for the males being 3.5 years and the females 4 years. The F1 males obtained from crossing with yellow cattle are infertile, as are the F1 males from the cross between yak and yellow cattle. The chromosome number has been estimated at 2n=58, which differes from those of Bos taurus (2n = 60) and wild cattle (Bos gaurus, 2n = 56). The Dulong is therefore considered as another cattle species (Bos frontalis).[Oklahoma State University]

Dumiati, Dumyati see Damietta (above)
Dutch Belted
Kings and noblemen sought after them, everyone from cultured artists to ordinary farmers have admired them for their peculiar and striking marking. They graced the estates of seventeenth century nobility, and their descendants and other cattle carrying their influence on farms in North America still inspire awe and curiosity among passersby, while many stockmen aspire to own some of these fascinating cattle.

The Dutch Belted breed is, according to records, the only belted breed of cattle tracing back directly to the original belted or "canvassed" cattle which were described in Switzerland and Austria. These "Gurtenvieh" were evidently moved by Dutch nobility from the mountain farms of Canton Appenzell and Tyrol Mountains during or soon after the feudal period. The Dutch were very protective of their belted cattle and would generally not part with them. They were highly prized for their milking and fattening abilities. The breed began to flourish in Holland around 1750. (This historical account is found in Professor Raymond Becker's book, Dairy Cattle Breeds: Origin and Development.)

Bulletin #21 of the Dutch Belted Cattle Association of America published June, 1923, gives this insight into the history of the breed in North America: "it is said that the first importation of Dutch Belted Cattle was by the United States Consul D. H. Haight in 1838; however, the first importation of importance was made by P.T. Barnum, the great showman in 1840. He was able to secure a few animals for show purposes only by agreeing that they were to be used principally for exhibition, as a feature of his great circus. Barnum’s herd of cattle were exhibited for several years. Later they were placed on a farm and this seems to be the beginning of the Dutch Belted cattle in America. From that time until 1906 a number were imported, but since 1906 our government has not allowed any importations owing to the prevalence of the foot and mouth disease in Europe."

"In America the Dutch Belted Cattle are recognized as a dairy breed, and we find them in 1908 at the California State Fair, where the cow, Julia Marlow No. 1187, made the most butterfat at each milking for five consecutive days over all breeds. Again in 1909, Lady Fresno No. 1183 won the first prize and Julia Marlow the second prize over all breeds on a five day butterfat test. These performances were the more remarkable because in 1909 there were only 18 Dutch Belted females of milking age in the state of California. Passing on to the year 1914, we find we have the best four cows in milk over all breeds at the Arizona State Fair. In 1920, the champion diary cow of the state of Florida was Ferndell No. 1961."

The Dutch Belted breed flourished in the U.S. as a dairy breed from around 1815-1940. The herdbook of the Dutch Belted Cattle Association of America was established in 1886. This is the oldest continuously registering herd book for belted cattle in the world, as even in Holland there has not been a continuous herdbook, with the most recent being established in 1979 after a lapse of almost 50 years. Advanced Registry was established and the Dutch Belted cows made many notable milk records for their day.

Breeders of Dutch Belted found the cattle profitable as well as beautiful. A prominent Florida physician, Dr. J. G. DuPuis, established a dairy in south Florida (where the climate was considered unsuitable for such) and stocked it with as many Dutch Belted cows as he could find, along with Holsteins and Guernseys. He preferred the Dutch Belted for their ease of management and milk quality. He felt Dutch Belted milk was more easily digestible due to the soft curd and high protein/fat ratio.

The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy now lists Dutch Belted as on the critically rare breeds of livestock in the North America, with fewer than 200 registered cattle in the country. The breed in the U.S. is the only source of pure belted genetics in the world since the Lakenvelders in Holland suffered from much crossbreeding from 1950 to 1976. In fact breeders of Lakenvelders in Holland have turned to American Dutch Belted Breeders several times since then for semen from pure bulls.

The results of Holland's breeding program with Lakenvelders in the last 40 years is a demonstration of the effects of crossbreeding on breed consistency. In 1976, after two and a half decades of cross breeding the original Lakenvelders, the remaining cattle of those herds were only 2% well-marked. Since reintroduction of pure bloodlines via semen from the U.S. in 1990, the national Lakenvelder herd is 57% well-marked. Among pure Dutch Belted cattle in the U.S., roughly 98% are wellmarked, and pure Dutch Belted bulls produce up to 90% well-marked calves on cows of other breeds showing the prepotency of the belted gene in pure individuals.

Dutch Belted have other unique characteristics which make them desirable in crossbreeding programs. Of course, due to the rarity of the pure Dutch Belted crossbreeding can only be recommended by use of Dutch Belted males or semen on common cows, not crossbreeding Dutch Belted females to males of other breeds. Such crossing has been to some extent responsible for the decline in numbers of pure Dutch Belted. Dutch Belted are small-boned, making them very easy calving. They have unusual longevity and fertility, high meat yield and friendly dispositions. Dutch Belted Al sires are attracting interest among grass based stockmen and dairymen because of these features. [Oklahoma State University]

Dutch Friesian, Also known by: Dutch Black Pied, Zwartbont (Dutch), Black-and-white Holland, Black Pied Dutch, Dutch Lowland
The Dutch Friesian was bred for many years as a dual-purpose, it is now a prime milk-producing breed with milk yields highest in the cows of North Holland with a yield per lactation of 5,222 kg with a fat yield of 4.09%.

The exact origins of the breed are difficult to determine but it is known that in the 18th century, herds of small black-and-white cattle were brought into northern Holland and Friesland from northern Jutland to replace animals that had fallen victim to disease and flooding. These animals were crossed with the existing Dutch cattle and formed the basis of the Dutch Friesian. Before the establishment of the Netherlands herdbook in 1873 and the Friesland herdbook in 1879, both black-pied and red-pied animals were maintained separately. The preference for black-pied cattle, particularly in the United States, led to the further segregation of red-pied animals and presently this color variation only exists in small number in the Netherlands.

Production levels of this breed declined during the 1950s when excessive emphasis was placed on correct color pattern. During the 1970s Holsteins were imported from the United States and used to improved the milk production. This resulted in larger animals with a more pronounced diary characteristics. The mixing of these two breeds is such that now many Dutch Friesians are 25% to 75% Holstein. [Oklahoma State University]

Dutch Red-and-White see Meuse-Rhine-Yssel

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