Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Milking Shorthorn

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... eight maids a'milking...

Milking Shorthorn
And now we come to the half the song proliferated by humans in various occupations. And because this is "Animal-A-Day" and not "Random-Profession-For-Hire-A-Day," we'll be getting a bit creative for the remainder of the entries.

Though to be honest, today's entry isn't that far out of the box. Milking maids? A dairy cow? Not altogether unexpected. At any rate, the Milking Shorthorn, which is also referred to as the Dairy Shorthorn depending on the country, is a relatively old breed of Cattle that was developed as an offshoot of the Shorthorn Breed. The Shorthorn and Milking Shorthorn have the same ancestry, but have been adapted to serve different purposes.

Milking Shorthorns were fist developed in Northern England during the late 18th century, and were exported to the United States, New Zealand, and Australia during the next few decades. At this time they were sometimes referred to as "Durhams," for the area in which they originated.

The breed is incredibly versatile; the calve easily and regularly, they grow very fast, graze efficiently, and they produce large volumes of nutritious milk. Milking Shorthorns also have long lifespans, and they have a high salvage value when they eventually pass away.

One interesting trait of the breed is that they come in a roan color, which is a speckled mixture of white and red. This color is not found in any other Cattle breed! They also comes in more solid shades of white and red. Milking Shorthorns have passed their color on to the handful of breeds that they have helped to create, including the Illawarra Cattle and the Swedish Red Cattle.

Status : Domesticated, but listed as a critical breed by the ALBC
Location : Originated in England
Size : Height up to 55in (1.4m), Weight up to 1,500lbs (680kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Bovidae -- Genus : Bos -- Species : B. primigenius


  1. When I was little, I lived at a small farm that had about 20 - 30 of these cows. Their milk was amazing! It's shame that they are now listed as a critical breed.

  2. I would like to re-publish this picture.

    How should I contact to ask permission

    Elsabe dT

    1. That particular image is from You would need to contact someone there for any publication rights.


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