About Belted Galloway Cattle
|Photo by Margit Braeunig of Highland Hills Farm|
Galloway cattle originate from Galloway, Scotland and are most recognizable by
their hairy coats with a white belt that completely circles their bodies across
their mid sections. They are nicknamed “Oreo Cows”, “Panda Cows” or
“Belties.” They are primarily black and white, but dun and red belted Galloways
are also recognized by breed societies.
Belted Galloways are a
heritage breed of cattle and date back to the early 1800's. The exact origin of
the white belt across their belly is unknown, but it is thought to have come
from cross breeding with Dutch Belted cattle.
Belted Galloways are raised
for their high quality beef that typically has a marbled appearance. This means
that it contains various amounts of intramuscular fat within the lean meat.
Marbling is achieved by selective breeding and is also influenced by feed. They
are known for grazing land that has coarse grasses that other breeds will not
eat and are able to produce high-quality beef on an all grass diet, making them
very adaptable to even the poorest pasture regions. You will find that
Galloways are raised in areas similar to their native Scotland climates like
Pacific coastal areas.
Galloways are naturally
polled /do not have horns. They have quiet temperaments, but the females are
still protective of their calves and will protect them against any threats.
There were formerly on the Conservancy “watch list” but are now categorized as
a “recovering breed”. Nearly 19,000
registered Belted Galloways were in the United States in 2015.