Acquired: Bred animal myself
Posted Apr 13, 2015
As dairy farmers, my husband and I, have owned many different breeds, over the years. Our herds have never been limited to just one breed, as we do experiment with cross breeding. Ayshire cattle are one of my favorite breeds. The cattle ore very colorful and each has it's own unique, red and white pattern. Sometimes the red is sort of a burnt sienna color.
The breed originated in the highlands of Scotland. Over the centuries, it evolved to become very hardy and adaptable to extreme weather conditions.
We live in Vermont. The winters can be very harsh here, Subzero temps with a lot of snow and ice. Spring is usually very wet and cool. The summers are usually dry, hot, and humid. Also, we have a lot of rocky meadows and hills. The Ayshires do well here because of their adaptability.
A mature bull Ayshire will weigh around 1500 lbs. A mature cow around 1200 lbs, While they can be used for beef, the quality of the meat is not as good as a lot of other breeds. The meat is usually slightly stringy and tougher than most. However, for hamburger and stew it works fine.
The Ayshire's worth is in it's milk. Their milk has moderate butterfat and high protein content. My cows produce on average 9 gallons of milk per day each. With milk prices steadily dropping, good producers are essential.
While not the best producers, they make up for it by reproducing well. Ayshires have a lot of twin births, and also have a pretty easy time calving.
Temperment wise, they are not by nature as docile as Holsteins, but that is compensated by their hardiness.