Types of Cows: A Dairy Delight

Last Updated on August 11, 2023 by Georgie Smith

There are many Types Of Cows, each with unique features and quirks. The first type is the dairy cow. These cows are specifically bred for their milk production and can produce up to ten gallons daily! Dairy farmers typically keep these cows pregnant year-round to maintain high milk yields.

Next on the list is the beef cow. Beef cattle are raised primarily for meat but yield valuable byproducts such as leather and fertilizer. Male beef calves are usually slaughtered shortly after birth, while female calves may eventually become breeding animals.

Familiarity with red, brown, and even oreo cows is essential. Cattle supply a wide variety of valuable goods, including the milk necessary for healthy bones, the protein-rich meat used to make steaks, and the leather used to craft a wide variety of items. Below are examples of each type of cattle to help you better understand them. This article looks at some of the more common different types of dairy cows worldwide.

Origin Of Cattle

Interestingly, all domesticated cows come from a single ancestor – the Aurochs. This wild Cow roamed Europe and Asia for thousands of years before being hunted to extinction. Thankfully, early humans began domesticating these animals, leading to various modern-day cattle breeds.

There might be two scientific names for cattle: Bos Taurus and Bos Indicus. The fundamental distinction between the two is that cattle belonging to the Bos Taurus are predominantly of European heritage, and the Bos Indicus group is typically considered Indian. The fact that they trace their roots back to India explains this. An intriguing fact about male cattle (bulls) is that they aren’t so frustrated by the color red; rather, they are more bothered by the movement of red than the bullfighters do.

Cattle vs. Cow vs. Bull

  • Cows are bred to produce large amounts of milk for human consumption.
  • Cattle are bred to have a lot of muscle tissue to provide more meat.
  • Bulls are used solely for breeding – their muscles aren’t as good for eating as those on a cow or heifer and have an unpleasant temperament.

Types of Cows: Dairy Cattle

Dairy is produced from a defferent types of dairy cow breeds. Around 10,000 years ago, humans began milking auroch females; today, this technique has spread to cattle. Cows bred primarily for their milk production make up the herd of dairy cattle. In other words, the primary function of bulls of the various cattle breeds included in the dairy cattle class is the reproduction of dairy cattle rather than beef cattle or draught cattle. Yet, dairy farmers face several challenges. The dairy industry is widely seen as more brutal than the beef cattle breeding industry by those who advocate for protecting all animals. But that’s a different discussion altogether. Information about dairy cattle is provided below.

Holstein-Friesian Cattle

Holstein-Friesians are the most common type in the US, while Guernsey cows are favorites on islands like Jersey. Some people even swear by Ayrshire milk for its flavor. Dairy cattle are a breed of Cow that has gained widespread popularity. Often, these animals are used as mascots by dairy businesses. The media-familiar black-and-white Cow, also called a Holstein cow, is the world’s most well-known breed of a dairy cow. Because of their different appearance, Holstein-Friesian cattle are frequently used by animators and cartoonists.

Northern Holland and Friesland are the original home of the Holstein-Friesian cattle breed. Compared to other kinds of cattle, these bulls and cows are monstrous. Farmers have used dairy cows for at least two thousand years. The majority of America’s milk comes from Holstein-Friesian cows. However, the butterfat level of these foods is somewhat low.

Guernsey cow

Guernsey cow is a dairy delight. These cows are known for their gentle nature, high milk production, rich butterfat, and high nutrient content. Producers and cow fans have known since the 19th century that Guernsey cattle fed on grass increased milk production. No records survive past the 19th century; thus, whether these cattle remained viable is unknown.

A Guernsey cow’s average daily milk production is two gallons, and four or five gallons is average, but that number rises to six or seven if there are fewer calves than cows. Butterfat levels in milk from Guernsey cows can reach up to 5%, and high levels of beta-carotene are responsible for the yellow color milk.

Watusi cattle

One type is the Watusi cattle, named after the African tribe that first bred them. These animals have long horns and are known for their high milk production.

Watusi Cattle are classified as dairy cattle. But, daily milk output from Watusi cows averages just 1 gallon. The real reason to raise Watusi cattle is for show. Tutsi, Ankole, Kivu, and Bahima nomads favor Watusi cattle because of their superior milk production. Like other spices, metals, and textiles, they can be exchanged for other goods in a barter system.

Watusi are killed in the United States for their meat since it has a low cholesterol and fat content. Notwithstanding their cultural differences, both the United States and the nomadic tribes recognize the Watusi for what it is: an important economic and financial asset.

Ayrshire Cattle

Ayrshire Cattle is one of the dairy breeds of cattle that originated in Scotland. They have rich, creamy milk and produce high-quality beef. This Cow comes in all colors: black or red/reddish Brown. They are medium- to large-sized animals with fine bones, long legs, and deep chests.

There are two types of Ayrshire cattle: Milking Shorthorns and Beef Shorthorns. The Milking shorthorn is smaller than the Beef shorthorn (average weight 1100 lbs versus 1700 pounds) and has more hair on its body. Both Types have horns; however, only 40% percent of milking shorthorns will use them for defense. Over 85% percent of beef shorthorns will posture even when no threat indicates their increased aggressiveness if needed.

Jersey Cattle

jersey cows originated on an island off the coast of France, and they are known for their rich milk production and high butterfat content. Some people say that Jerseys have a distinctively sweet taste to their milk.

Jersey Cattle are smaller than some other breeds but are hearty animals that can withstand cold winters and hot summers. They come in many colors: black, red, brown, white, and roan. A good dairy herd will always contain a mix of colors, so parasites can’t become established among one color group.

The Jersey Cow is one of America’s oldest breeds – Thomas Jefferson was known to raise them at his Monticello estate! In recent years their popularity has grown as more people discover how delicious their milk is – it makes perfect yogurt, ice cream, or cheese.

Brown Swiss Cattle

Brown Swiss Cattle originated in Switzerland (hence their name) and were first imported into the United States in 1885. These sturdy animals are known for their gentle dispositions and excellent milk production rates; on average, Brown Swiss Cows produce about 7500 liters (2000 gallons) of milk annually! Their brown coats make them easy to identify from a distance.

The breeders and animal lovers know that they are calm and kind. Besides milk production, Brown Swiss Cattle are also raised for meat. The average lifespan of a cow is about five years, but this cattle can live up to twenty. The Cattle are the longest-bred breed in the United States, and they’re one of the oldest types of dairy cattle still in existence.


Burlina cows and bulls are multi-purpose animals in the same vein as Brown Swiss cattle. Yet, their primary function is not to produce beef but rather milk. They were brought to Italy by people living in the provinces of Verona, Vicenza, and Treviso. Binda, Boccarda, Bassanese, and Pezzata altiplano are just a few of the various names by which Burlina is known.

The Burlina’s famed resistance to illnesses like tuberculosis has made it a popular pet. The Cow doesn’t require as many antibiotics as other dairy cattle, so breeding them for high-quality milk is easier. Milk from these cows has been described as tasting “grassy.” Because of both World Wars, they are now extremely susceptible. Another decline occurred during the 1950s as Friesian cattle eventually supplanted them.

Icelandic Cattle

Beautiful Icelandic animals are known for their long hair, which helps them stay warm in Iceland’s cold climate. They’re known for their high milk production – up to 5,700 liters annually!

Icelandic cows are dairy cattle, and they produce high-quality milk that is rich in butterfat and protein. Farmers who raise these cows swear by their milk’s flavor and creamy texture; some even say it tastes better than regular Cow’s milk.

Types of Cows: Beef Cattle

Many people cannot get enough beef. Because of this, beef cattle are often butchered at one year of age, at which point they are processed into cuts of meat like T-Bone, sirloin, and veal. Although slaughtering cows for food is routine, some are still morally opposed to the practice. Vegetarians are the term for these individuals. Even though numerous organizations are campaigning for people to cease eating meat, it is still widely consumed. Here are some examples of the cattle used to produce the rare, medium-rare, medium-well, and well-done cuts of beef that we enjoy.

Brahman Cattle

Brahman cows and bulls are popularly known as beef cattle. These animals come from the Bos Indicus family, which means they are descendants of Indian cows. The cattle are used in many countries for beef, including Contrasting Argentina, the USA, Colombia, Paraguay, Brazil, and Australia. The cattle were first bred in the United States from a combination of Kankrej Gujarati Ongole Gyr breeds.

Brahman Cattle are a popular breed due to their ability to withstand extreme heat and live in tropical areas. These cattle also have thick skin, which helps keep them free from pests and insects. Furthermore, they tend to live longer than most other cows and bulls, sometimes giving birth until they are fifteen!

Belgian Blue Cattle

Types of cows come in all shapes and sizes, but Belgian Blue is easily recognized for its extra-muscular body. These cattle are bred specifically for their mutation called “double muscling,” which, unfortunately, often leads to abuse. Despite this, they remain among the most popular cows due to their hearty appetite and impressive size!

A scientific explanation for Belgian Blue’s severe mutation exists. Most Belgian Blues must have a C-section, which breeders should know. They also suffer persistent troubles with their bones, hearts, and joints. Belgian Blues have more beef and a more soft texture than natural varieties because they were designed to be the ideal cattle. They may also produce high-quality milk and are less prone to mood swings.

Charolais Cattle

The Charolais breed is unusual among cattle because it only produces purebred white animals. Charolais cattle are native to France, and their darkest possible coat color is wheaten. Following a bloody dispute, Great Britain imported Charolais cattle, now farmed for their meat. The Charolais are often crossed with Angus and Hereford cattle by breeders.

Beef from Charolais bulls is considered among the best because they are considered terminal sires. Both breeders and zoologists have seen their rapid development. The same may be said about their beef items. Producers know they are ideal for finishing at a high weight and transforming into beef.

Highland Cattle (type of fluffy cow)

One of the most popular is the Highland Cow. These cows have long wavy hair, which helps protect them from the harsh environment in the Scottish Highlands.

Some farmers use Highland Cattle as milking cows, while most keep them for their meat. Highland beef is low in fat and cholesterol (even lower than chicken) and produces high amounts of iron – making it a good choice for people who are anemic.

Aberdeen Angus

One of the breeds of cows and bulls that are in danger of extinction is the Aberdeen Angus. In the nineteenth century, Aberdeen Angus was conceived and founded by Hugh Watson, a tenant farmer in Angus. Old Jock is the sole sire of Aberdeen Angus cattle, and old Jock was Watson’s preferred bull. By sheer coincidence, 2017 also unveiled a statue memorial to Old Jock at Glamis Castle.

Beef cattle are most commonly of the Angus breed. It’s common knowledge that Aberdeen Angus cows have straightforward births for their calves, and Aberdeen Angus cows pass on their protective instincts to their offspring. For instance, newborn calves have an innate drive to stand up and suckle at their mother’s udder. Yet, just because Aberdeen Angus beef tends to score well on USDA scales doesn’t imply it always does.

Red Angus

The Red Angus originated by crossbreeding English and Scottish cattle with those brought to Europe by the Vikings. Scottish black Celtic cattle were used as breeding stock for these. They are Famous for being the progenitor of all Aberdeen Angus cattle. Old Jock was a Red Angus. However, breeder Eric Pentecost attributes the Red Angus’s distinctive color to introducing English Longhorns into the breed to increase its size.

Cattle of the Red Angus breed fall under the category of heterosis, and this means that when they are bred with other types of cattle, they tend to produce more offspring. They have premium intramuscularly marbled beef and a reputation for living a very long time.

Japanese Black

Most people recognize Japanese Black cattle by their other name, wagyu, the most costly beef on the market. Early in Japan’s history, draught oxen worked in rice fields. The Wagyu breed of cattle is known as a hybrid breed created by crossing several distinct types of cattle. The Tajima, Shimane, Okayama, and Tottori breeds account for most Japanese Black cattle production.

Wagyu beef has a high percentage of unsaturated fat, making it tender, and the beef from these animals has a much more refined texture. Even more so, The cattle share the qualities of high-quality ribeyes with other breeds.

Square Meater

Compared to other types of cows and bulls, the Square Meater is a newer breed. When demand for veal increased in the 1990s, Rick Pisaturo developed the Square Meater to meet it. Pisaturo wanted to breed a cow that could produce 300 kg of vealer in the first nine months of life. The Cow was developed by selective breeding of Murray Grey cows and bulls, focusing on producing a high-quality milking cow.

Others say that Square Meaters reach adulthood at an unusually young age. They are considered dual-purpose because of their ability to produce milk (albeit not as much as dairy cattle). Pisaturo’s Square Meater has been a resounding success for its intended use, and little yet high-quality beef is produced from these cattle.

Belted Galloway (Oreo Cows)

Belted Galloway cows and bulls are shaped like Oreos. People call them “oreo cows” because of the white line over their black fur. Scottish ancestry can be seen in today’s belted galloway, which once came in various colors and patterns. In the 19th century, breeders deliberately bred just for black in the Belted Galloway breed.

It’s good knowing that Belted Galloways can serve multiple purposes. Even now, though, their most popular use is as a source of beef. Because of their resistance to the cold, they make excellent imports to Canada. Belted Galloway cows have a stellar reputation as caring mothers who raise healthy calves with relative ease. Belted Galloways provide meat that is both lean and tender because of their low levels of saturated fat.


There is no larger breed of the Cow than the Chianina. Although Chianina cows and bull share a black coat, the rest of their bodies can be any shade from dark grey to white. Because of their dark skin, these cattle are naturally protected from pink eye and other eye cancer. In addition, their meat is excellently marbled because of their strong muscles. In Florence, grilled steak and other classic beef dishes are made with Chianina beef.

Some historians believe Chianina cattle to be among the earliest breeds of cattle ever. This is due to the prevalence of such figures in Roman art and poetry by Georgic writers like Vergil and Columella. The Chiana Valley in France is where the Chianina name originated.

Types of Cows: Draught Cattle

Farmers use draught animals to help with harvesting and other farm work. Compared to beef cattle and dairy cows, they aren’t often employed for the latter purpose or even slaughtered. Draught cattle are used by farmers for ploughing fields and transporting heavy goods. Most bovines and bulls mentioned here are Bos indicus, Indian Zebu, or Brahma cattle. Most draught cows don’t give much milk, but they’re hardier and more surefooted than regular cows. They make wonderful farmhand companions and, with the right training, can even be ridden by humans.

Khillari Cattle

The Khillari, like the vast majority of draught bovines, originates in India. Cattle are special in Hinduism; thus, most Indians use them for labor rather than eating them. These cattle can seem very different from region to region, and the cattle still stand out thanks to their distinctive curving horns. In addition to being one of the rarest types of cattle, Khillari cattle also have a spotted cow nose.

Khillari cattle also go by the name Tapi Khillari among the locals. There should be a noticeable hump on the back of any Khillari animal, whether it’s a cow or a bull. To add insult to injury, the Khillari bull’s humps are noticeably more compact than a female’s.


You can count on the strength and resilience of an Umblachery cow. As a draught bull breed, they rank among the most widely used. The cattle were named after the town of Umblachery, where they were first seen.

Red coats are a common birthmark in umblachery calves as adult umblachery develops its characteristic grey color. Although milk production from Umblachery cattle can reach 494 kg each lactation, farmers often employ them for ploughing and other farm tasks.

Red Sindhi

Diverse types of cows can be found all over the world. The Red Sindhi cattle are a prime example, as this type of Cow is heat resistant and produces large quantities of milk.

The Red Sindhi is a dual-purpose cattle breed for milk production and draught work. Australians have even started breeding their own Australian Red Sindhi cattle!

Bargur Cattle

The Bargur cattle in the Erode District in Tamil Nadu are famous for their trotting ability. These brown cows with white spots all over their body are excellent help on the farm and can lactate up to 350 kg per lactation cycle!

Bargur cattle have horns that grow backward from their head, and breeders prefer to keep them semi-feral by enclosing them in “patties” (enclosures). Check out these amazing animals if you’re ever near the Bargur hills!

Different Cow Breeds You Should Know

Types of different cows breeds are given below:


The Ayrshire is one of the largest cow breeds, so if you want high-quality milk and tasty meat after your partnership with the animal, it’s a good bet that you’ll be happy with your decision to raise an Ayrshire.

Milk production is high, but the impressive size range of 900–1,300 lbs is the major draw of this breed. Remember that its massive size is directly related to the enormous amounts of food you’ll need to feed it.


While the average Angus bull can reach weights of up to 1,800 pounds, you can get your money’s worth with a cow that is only a little smaller at around 1,200 pounds. Although most cows are black, there are white Angus bulls.

The only large issue with this type of cattle is that they can’t endure heat very well and are known to be quite irritable when even somewhat inconvenienced. But aside from that, they are fantastic milk producers.


This breed of Cow originated in India and is currently one of the most famous in the world. Brahman cattle are prized for resisting parasites, pests, and diseases that would otherwise wipe out lesser breeds. They’ve been bred to make do on a meager diet, so it’s a good option for people who’d rather not have to stick to a strict feeding schedule.

Brahman cattle are easily identifiable by their huge hump over the shoulder and neck and their characteristic upward-curving horns.


Jersey cows are a wonderful option if you have a small farm but want a quality dairy cow. In a normal setting, their weight is only about 880 pounds, but with enough food, they can reach up to 1,700 pounds. Jersey cows are a great addition to any farm because of the strong demand for their milk due to its high-fat content.


Limousin cows are known for their golden-red fur, producing high-quality milk and meat. They’re found everywhere in the US, especially in Texas, South Dakota, and Oklahoma.

The breed has garnered much attention across North America as of late, and for a good reason too. It is one of those breeds that doesn’t excel in any way but doesn’t lack in any category – making it a safe bet for farmers everywhere. As such, it more than deserves its spot on our list!


The Charolais is another fantastic French breed; they provide high-quality meat and milk and are excellent draught animals.

Its massive size and solid construction make it an excellent option for anyone needing a powerful ally to draw carts over fields. A severe illness outbreak that wiped off a substantial section of the breed in Mexico first arrived in the United States in the 1930s.

As a result of its tough skin, this breed is well-known for its capacity to withstand cold temperatures. While it is not the hardiest of breeds overall and succumbs fast to hot conditions, it has become well-known for its grazing abilities in recent years.


This Indian cow variety is highly regarded as a superior draught breed. Its low milk production is its only true drawback; nevertheless, its unusual appearance and, of course, its draught ability more than makeup for this.

Malvi cows, also known as, Manthani cows and Mahadeopuri cows, may be available from a breeder if you enquire about them. This kind of Cow is one of the most magnificent available, so you will surely be pleased no matter what. They’re often pretty big, and this one’s horns, which point skyward, give it a particularly regal air.


This European breed was introduced to the United States through insemination techniques. Not only does it lack horns, but its coat is also a distinctive shade of red. Sometimes they develop little horns, but that’s about it; their heads are usually bare.

Its rapid growth and ease of care during calving have remained its key selling point. The breed as a whole is one you should not overlook.

Texas Longhorn

Among the most common types of cattle in the world today. Christopher Columbus is credited with introducing Texas Longhorn to the New World, and today these magnificent cattle are prized possessions on any American farm. The horns of Texas Longhorns cattle are unrivaled in terms of visual impact and awe-inspiring power.

These are amazing to behold in person since they can grow to around five feet. But, if you are not cautious around them, they can become rather combative.


In 1783, before that name knew them, this breed made its way to the United States. They were well-favored by the early settlers and were known as Durham cattle. They were extremely versatile, and their flesh and milk soon became staples in the diets of those living at the time.

Although the breed is still well-known for its overall toughness and longevity, it is important to note that getting one can be fairly costly due to its historical and cultural significance.


So hope you liked this rundown of cattle species. Discovering more about these fantastic beasts is worth it, whether you came here to study or are just interested in cows, different cattle breeds, or anything related. Despite their abundance, they should be respected and shielded from cruel practices like bullfighting.


What is the most common type of dairy cow?

Holstein cows are the most common breed of dairy cow used in the United States and many other countries. They are known for their high milk production, producing more milk than any other breed.

What other breeds of cows are used for dairy production?

In addition to Holsteins, several other breeds of cows are commonly used for dairy production. Jersey, Guernsey, Brown Swiss, and Ayrshire cows are all popular dairy breeds with unique characteristics and milk production capabilities.

What makes Jersey cows different from other dairy breeds?

Jersey cows are known for their rich, creamy milk with a high butterfat content. They are also smaller than many other dairy breeds, making them easier to manage on smaller farms.

How do you choose the right type of Cow for your dairy farm?

Choosing the right breed of Cow for your dairy farm depends on various factors, including location, climate, and management style. Some breeds may be better suited for certain environments or production systems than others, so it’s important to research and consult with other dairy farmers in your area.

What types of cows Chicago meat market?

The Chicago meat market primarily deals with beef cattle, typically breeds specifically raised for meat products such as Angus, Hereford, and Simmental. Other types of cows, such as dairy cows, may also be sold for meat but are typically not the primary focus of the meat market.

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