Other common names: Dairy Shorthorn
Shorthorn Cattle were developed out of Durham and Teeswater cattle in the 18th century in the north of England. In the 1950's, the Shorthorn Cattle breed was divided into two breeds: the Milking Shorthorn Cattle for dairy, and the Beef Shorthorn for meat. The breed is known as Milking Shorthorn in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, and as Dairy Shorthorn in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
According to The Shorthorn Society of United Kingdom & Ireland, "The breed was used in the early part of the 20th Century, primarily as a dual purpose breed, but specialisation for beef and milk led to the beef breeders starting their own section of the herdbook in 1958. Since that time the Beef Shorthorns have been developed as a separate breed. The dairy breeders also sought to improve the dairyness of their animals, and a blending scheme to introduce outside blood from other breeds was introduced in 1970. The importance of the Shorthorn breed in the development of other cattle breeds is enormous, and Shorthorn genetics have been used worldwide in the development of over 40 different breeds."
Appearance / health:
Milking Shorthorns are an average-sized breed, with mature cows averaging 140 cm (55 in) tall at the tailhead, and weighing 640 to 680 kg (1,400 to 1,500 lb). They are all-red, red with white markings, all-white, or red roan.
Cattle are docile animals that have strong maternal instincts. They are big and bulky, and could, therefore, inflict harm without intending to. Handling and brushing them constantly while juvenile will help train them to be calm and trusting around humans, which is helpful especially when they need to be attended to by the veterinarian or groomer.
Housing / diet:
Like other livestock, cattle require regular vaccinations and inoculations (for example, rabies inoculations) for disease prevention and health management. Similar to other mammals, cows can suffer a variety of ailments and health issues. A veterinarian should be on call and provide regular checkups and monitoring for the entire herd.
A good quality pasture for grazing is the basic dietary requirement of cattle. The recommended pasture size per cow is 10 acres, without which, the diet should be supplemented with hay. The recommended quantity of hay is an average of 2% of the animal’s body weight per day (or 2 lbs. of hay per 100 lbs. of body weight). Supplements include grain mixes, protein and mineral cubes, and salt blocks, depending on the type of cow, its uses, and the local climate.
Providing a constant supply of fresh water is essential. An adult cow consumes an estimate of up to 20 gallons of water per day.
personality, great family cow, Hardy Low Maintenance, meatier carcass, dual purpose, speckled spots
muscular breed, great feet, deep mahogany, enjoy people, little grain
A dual purpose breed
A milking shorthorn can give you the best of both worlds if you are looking for a great family cow. They are a more muscular breed of dairy cattle and originated to produce both meat and milk. Although they are not as heavy milk producers (generally) as their Holstein counterparts, they would certainly produce enough milk for a family and to feed a calf or two until weaning. The offspring produce a meatier carcass, and when feed properly, will provide a great source of beef for a family in less than two years. Keeping the calf on milk for up to six months is a great way to produce gain on any breed. Start adding a little grain at about two weeks to tickle the rumen and get it working. Depending on your choice of productions methods---grassfed or grainfed--begin adding feed to the diet early. You will be surprised how quickly a calf will begin nibbling on grass, even if the rumen is not ready to utilize it yet. The habit has been established and will carry over into the pasture where they will know that it is food beneath their feet. The result--already trained to graze, graze graze!!.
From coachmentormom Nov 18 2013 8:22AM
Milking shorthorn are also not so popular here in the U.S. anymore as they once were. They used to be prized for being a dual purpose breed, with good milk production, and fast growing beef cows. Their speckled spots set them apart from the other dairy breeds.
They are strong cattle with good health traits. Their strength is one of the characteristics that make them popular cows for some farms. I’ve found their strength to also translate to their character. They have strong personalities..
From Stephenw9734 Sep 5 2015 6:00PM