Ayrshire cattle

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Ayrshire

Ayrshire Cow
Country of originScotland
Traits
WeightBull: 635 to 900 kilograms (1,400–2,000 lb)
 Cow: 450 to 600 kilograms (990–1,300 lb)
CoatRed and white
Horn statusHorned
Use
Dairy, with exceptional foraging ability
Distribution
World-wide, mainly temperate climates
Cattle
Bos (primigenius) taurus
 
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Ayrshire

Ayrshire Cow
Country of originScotland
Traits
WeightBull: 635 to 900 kilograms (1,400–2,000 lb)
 Cow: 450 to 600 kilograms (990–1,300 lb)
CoatRed and white
Horn statusHorned
Use
Dairy, with exceptional foraging ability
Distribution
World-wide, mainly temperate climates
Cattle
Bos (primigenius) taurus

The Ayrshire cattle is a breed of dairy cattle originated from Ayrshire in Scotland. The average mature Ayrshire cow weighs 450 to 600 kilograms (990–1,300 lb). Ayrshires have red markings. They can be an orange to a dark brown, with or without coloured legs. They are known for low somatic cell counts, ability to convert grass into milk efficiently, and hardiness. The breed's strong points are the now desired traits of easy calving and longevity.

The breed was also known as Dunlop cattle (see Dunlop) or Cunninghame cattle (see Cunninghame). They were exported to all parts of the world and extensive cattle docks used to exist at Cunninghamhead station for loading and export purposes. The Dunlops of that ilk are credited with breeding this line, with animals being brought in from Holland.

Contents

Characteristics

Ayrshires are medium-sized cattle weighing over 1,200 pounds at maturity. They are strong, rugged cattle that adapt to all management systems including group handling on dairy farms with free stalls and milking parlours. Ayrshires excel in udder conformation and are not subject to excessive foot and leg problems. These traits make Ayrshires outstanding commercial dairy cattle. Other traits that make Ayrshires attractive to the commercial dairyman include the vigour of Ayrshire calves. They are strong and easy to raise. The Ayrshire is a moderate butterfat breed and relatively high protein breed. The actual average of all Ayrshires on official Ayrshire Breeder's Association programs in 2002 is 17,230 pounds of milk with 665 pounds of fat and 542 pounds of protein.

Ayrshires (especially the ones from Finland) are also crossed with Holstein cattle in order to improve the Holstein's hardiness and fertility.

Southern Hemisphere

Ayrshires in Southern Africa are used for the company Woolworths, which replaced Simmental Cattle in 1988. In New Zealand, they are still called Dunlop Cattle. There are some Ayrshires in the Drakensberg and the Transvaal.

Ayrshires in the tropics

There are some Ayrshires in the tropics, such as Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and parts of Africa.

As mascots

Most Ayrshire mascots are cartoons and plush toys, the mascot of the New Zealand company called Calci-yum, in one picture, she is standing on the tracks next to an NZR Ab class.

There is another one from South Africa, a cartoon Ayrshire drinking milk, mainly in the flavoured milks.

See also

Dunlop cheese

External links