Six Primary Dairy Breeds In United State

Six Primary Dairy Breeds In United State

There are six primary breeds of dairy cattle raised in the United States. They are the

  1. Holstein

  2. Jersey

  3. Brown Swiss

  4. Guernsey

  5. Ayrshire

  6. Milking Shorthorns

The overwhelming majority of our country’s milk supply comes from Holstein, jersey, and Brown Swiss breeds. Of those three over 90% of the nation’s milk comes from the familiar black and white pattern Holstein. The reason for that is mainly about the volume of the common breeds Holsteins are the largest cows and can reach weights of more than 1500 pounds. because of their size, mature Holsteins can produce much more milk with cows producing nearly nine gallons of high-quality milk each day.

One of the things that differentiate the dairy breeds is the components of their milk, or the biological makeup of the milk components like butterfat, which makes milk taste sweeter and creamier, and protein, which provides nutrients and energy are extremely valuable. Smaller breeds such as the jersey and guernseys are well known for their higher quality components. That’s important since they don’t produce as much volume. So the quality is valuable to farmers who can sell their higher butterfat milk to processors who make foods like butter, cheese, or ice cream, which breed each farmer chooses to care for on their farm is a personal preference and business decision. Some farmers even have several different breeds on their farms.

Each farmer must decide which breed provides them with the most value, and how can they provide that cow with the various food, water, shelter, and medical care so the animals are healthy and happy, and ultimately produce the most high-quality milk. The most important thing to remember is that all milk produced by these various dairy breeds is nutritious, containing nine essential nutrients including protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and much more. Even better, the milk is always delicious.