10 Best Cow Breeds for Meat and Milk

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Producing milk and beef is the most profitable farming business at present in the world. Market demand is gradually increasing in the world market because milk is one of the most important factors to prepare for sweets, butter, cheese, etc and the demand for meat is also high for all time.

Cow Breeds for Meat and Milk:

Some people like to raise their cattle for beef and some others like to raise a cow for milk production. Let’s figure out the top 10 cow breeds for meat and milk.

1. Angus

At present time many people in USA are raising up Angus cattle. The reason is that they can produce quality beef what they want and a lot of people would like to raise their own beef than to purchase it from the store.

Angus cattle
Angus cattle, Image: That’s Farming

Advantages of Angus farming

  • Angus beef is an amazing source of iron as well as zinc which is essential for growth metabolism. And the meat also contains vitamins B12 and the essential nutrient Niacin.
  • There are about 7 grams of protein in one ounce of the meat and has an exquisite flavor. The texture of Angus beef has incredible, melt-in-your-mouth characteristics due to the marbling. 
  • Angus cattle produce healthy meat, a type of meat that contains Omega-3, an essential fatty acid which can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and boost blood circulation and decrease the risk of blood clotting.

So if you want to raise cattle for meat at home, then you should definitely look into this breed.

2. Holstein Friesian

Now let’s change gears just for a moment. If you are looking for raising a cow because you’d like to produce your own not only milk for cheese, butter but also other things, then you can consider the Holstein breed. Originally this comes from two breeds that were crossbred from Holstein (Germany) and Friesians (Netherlands).

Holstein Friesian
Holstein Friesian, Image: Istock

Advantages of Holstein Friesian farming

  • Records show that some Friesian beef cattle actually reached over 1.3 tons in finishing weight and the average weight of a Friesian cow is about 580kg at full maturity.
  • It has a great longevity life and making them good for farmers who are worry about considering the cost of herd replacements of the farm.
  • It has excellent conception rates, with a higher number of calves per lifetime born to Friesians. However Heifers should be only impregnated after the age of 13 and generally calves are born at a weight of about 45kg on average.

Actually, when most of the people think of a cow, this is probably think this type of cow because it is used in so many adverts because this breed is known to be the highest-production breed for dairy farm even at home.

3. Hereford

This type of breed is another really popular breed all over the world. The Hereford is an animal which is able to adapt to all types of production systems and environmental conditions. For this reason Hereford genetics have been exported to all regions of the world.

Hereford Cattle
Hereford Cattle, Image: Gemstone Cattle Company

Advantages of Hereford farming

  • It is one of the most prolific breeders, an important characteristic for any breed as it affects profitability more than any other indicators. Its weaning percentages are consistently in excess of about 90%.
  • Hereford stock bulls and breeding females also have a great longevity producing thrifty calves for many years.

The number of Hereford herds in the different regions continues to expand at a phenomenal rate for many reasons because of their ease of management from ease of calving to ease of handling. This cow breeds for meat and milk. is important. But this breed is mainly grown up for meat production and it is in more than 50 different countries across the world.

4. Shorthorn

The shorthorn was developed to be a dual-purpose breed so that they can get both kinds of milk production as well as beef, so this is important as a cow breeds for meat and milk. Shorthorn cows are very gentle in nature and easy to milk. This pleasant temperament is ideal for farmers to run a smooth operation properly.

Advantages of Shorthorn farming

  • The dairy qualities of the Shorthorn are really praised, as they have high yields with some cows producing around 8,000kg of milk per lactation. Their milk also has a decent ratio of protein against fat.
  • In case of beef production, these cattle are well known for their efficiency with weight gain and suitability for comparatively low-input systems than any other breeds.
  • Its beef is nicely mottled, adding to its tenderness, and the average yield of carcasses is about 61%.Its bulls are considered much quieter than other breeds in general.

However, it is generally said, that certain blood lines would come out stronger in one area than the other. So, you can purchase either a beef shorthorn or a dairy shorthorn depending upon which purpose you’d like

5. Charolais

The Charolais is a breed of cattle that was developed in west-central to southeastern France, the old French provinces of Charolles and neighboring Nievre long before 1770s. They are raised mainly for beef and are often crossed with another beef breed, like Angus.

Advantages of Charolais farming

  • Charolais cattle are well-liked for their carcass’ high yield and beter quality meat. Their intramuscular fat also contributes to excellent edible quality in their beef cuts.
  • Charolais cattle grow quickly, and are excellent at fast weight-gain. However their big appetite can hinder some farmers. The need to provide constant high levels of food can drain resources if farmers are not sufficiently prepared.
  • However, the cattle have the ability to graze efficiently on most pastures, and they convert their feed to muscle with ease. This is important for farmers whose land is comparatively less than suitable for other breeds who would struggle to nourish themselves properly on their farm.

But they are commonly known for growing really well and producing quality meat as well as hides. So if you want to like to make leather from your cattle, this would be a good breed to consider.

6. Galloway

I love very much this breed of cow because of its fluffy coat. Looks aside, this is a great beef breed for someone interested in that purpose. They also have a strong resistance against pink-eye and congenital problems like dwarfism which are almost unheard of in the breed.

Advantages of Galloway farming

  • Genetically, Belted Galloways are quite healthy. Their durability with a high immune system is a desirable trait for farmers who wish to keep a healthy, sturdy herd.
  • These cattle get mature slower than their other European counterparts. But beef from these are not high in saturated fat and well-marbled that making for excellent meat-eating quality.
  • The output from Belted Galloway bodies is high, with the average shells dressed weight standing at more than 60% of live weight. Since their warm coat means that there is no important for excess fat insulating the body, it results in just 2% fat content in finished beef.

This breed is also one of the oldest breeds in the world as well. It was named after the area in Scotland it originated, but it became very popular breed all over the world when they began to export them in the1800’s.

7. Simmental

These cattle would be a great multipurpose breed. The Simmental breed is one of the oldest breeds in the world. It is a Swiss breed but has been developed in the United States since around 1800AC.

Advantages of Simmental farming

  • The average weight of matured cattle is about 900kg and 1,300 kg for cows and bulls respectively, so making them quite a large-framed and muscled animal.
  • They are well suited to the Irish weather condition and considered as they survive well in Alpine conditions where winters can be tough. The Irish temperate oceanic climate, where there is no extreme temperature changes are experienced.
  • Physical characteristics the Simmental are generally praised. They usually have pigment very fast not like others, which is better for preventing problems in heavily sunny regions.

Though it is raised in different parts of the world as a dairy cow, the United States usually produces them for beef. But they are known for being great dairy producers, large in size, and for growing quickly as well.

8. Brahman

This is one of the super cows when it comes to breeds. The Brahman breed is one of the oldest in the world. Brahman cattle have horns that curve upwards and slightly towards their rear. This is an important characteristic that farmers may wish to consider before breeding Brahman cattle.

Advantages of Brahman farming

  • Brahman cattle bulls weigh around 900kg, while cows can reach about 600kg and calves have low birth weights of about 28kg. Brahman cattle is well known as cow breeds for meat and milk also.
  • They’re very gentle and are easy to handle with a friendly nature. However, it’s important to take care around bulls and cows, regardless of breed.
  • Brahman cows are very excellent mothers with good longevity, and can be expected to calve properly well into their mid-teens. This can reduce herd substitution costs.
  • Brahman cattle grow very quickly, and finish early for good beef production. Their carcasses have not high fat but high muscle content.

As they have a large hump and horns which help them to keep cool. They are well known for being able to sweat and deter pests. But they can even survive in any climates and when there isn’t adequate food.

9. Limousin

If you want an ancient cow, this breed could be like that what you are looking for. When historians have studied ancient paintings, was from France, they found cattle in the pictures that look similar to this breed.

Advantages of Limousin farming

  • Limousins calve very easy to grow up without major complications as birthing weight is quite low. This is especially attractive for farmers who are worry about the tricky business of calving and particularly if there’s only one person on hand to assist the cow on small farms.
  • Many praise the Limousin breed for its efficiency in converting feed to weight at a slightly. However, they mature late, meaning that weight gain isn’t as quick as some continental breeds.
  • Although primarily used in beef production, these are popular for dairy farms. As their calves are quite small, breeding with Friesians for example is very popular. Limousin-Friesian crosses are considered as excellent suckers of high value.

Though they mainly originated in France, they can now be found all over the world now. They are great animals to use for work, but they are mainly breed for beef.


10. Scottish Highland

Scottish Highland is pretty amazing. It began its time in the Highlands of Scotland. During this time, they were able to build up resistance to many diseases that was not unusually plague other breeds of cows.

Scottish Highland
Scottish Highland, Image: Wikipedia

Advantages of Scottish Highland farming

  • Highlands require little shelter, feed supplements, or expensive obtain to achieve and maintain better condition and fitness. In fact, these cattle are seemed to enjoy conditions in which many other breeds would perish.
  • Highlands have a long and close history of living with humans. Early Scots used to keep the cows downstairs to provide warmth for the family on the second story and to ensure the neighbors didn’t help themselves to the family’s wealth.
  • Highland females conceive very early, calve easily and breed back readily on native forage. Bulls are not gentle in nature and durable breeders with some bulls breeding about 13 months old.
  • These cows will average 1000 pounds when mature. Bulls will average from 16000 pounds. Highlands mature between six and seven years old. Calves are small, 40-60 pounds.
  • Its beef is very testy and low fat, low cholesterol, naturally helpful to health. The Highland’s double coat of hair insulates them rather than a heavy layer of fat, providing a leaner, healthier beef.
  • Highland cattle can provide the opportunity to the farmer producing a premium quality beef with less cost and effort.
  • They fit into a variety of styles of operations from small farm for commercial beef operations. They are also a multi-purpose animal, producing meat, milk, and fiber.
  • Now that this breed is all over the world, they do well even in colder climates because they have long hair and a layer of fat to keep warm.

But they do well in southern climates as well. You can put it out on pasture, and it is said to eat things most other breeds would turn their nose up at.


You may also look for another

11. Brown Swiss

If you are looking for a dairy cow, then Brown Swiss could be what you are searching for. It is second in line with the Holstein as far as milk production, though it is known as a cow breeds for meat and milk in the world.

Properly well-structured legs allies to strong, hard, black and well-formed feet, that mean Brown Swiss cattle are grown up continuously in New Zealand’s farming systems. So no doubt this is one of the key qualities that enable many Brown Swiss to continue producing in the herd until they are 12-15 years of age.

Features of Brown Swiss

Brown Swiss cattle have become an increasingly popular as a dairy cow across the world. They are claimed to be the second highest milk producers, and it come from the Alpine pastures of Switzerland.

They reach weights of about 600kg for cows and 900kg for bulls.

Brown Swiss cattle are well-adapted to Irish climate, as they’re bred from the changeable weather of the mountain area. Their strong and sturdy hooves and legs prevent health problems from occurring, however.

Brown Swiss cows have quite long gestation periods. Bulls are ready at around 12-14 months for successful breeding, while cows mature at an average age of less than 1 year. Crossed cattle from Brown Swiss bulls are also about 15% more fertile.

Their milk is well known for its excellent cheese-making quality, as containing an average protein of 3.5% with 4% butterfat. Since the fat content is about 4.6%, this gives Brown Swiss milk the nearest fat protein ratio compared to other breeds. The cow also able to produces an average of 9,000kg of milk per year.

So if you like the idea of being able to produce dairy right on your own land, then you should consider this breed.

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