Belgian Blue cattle originate from northern and central Belgium. Many believe that this well-muscled animal contains a mix of Charolais and Shorthorn. The Belgian Blue is known by many different names. These include; the Race de la Moyenne et Haute Belgique, Blue and Belgian White and Blue Pied.
Belgian Blue characteristics
While Belgian Blue cattle may have existed for hundreds of years, the striking characteristics of this breed were really established in the 1960s. Skilful selection led to the Belgian Blue developing the traits for which it is renowned today. Namely, its double muscling and huge size.
Belgian Blue vary in colour. They range from white, blue roan, black and even red is present in some animals.
The breed is heavily muscled. This muscle development starts at 4 - 6 weeks and is present around the back, loin, rump and shoulder. Cows typically weigh around 875 kilos, mature bulls 1100-1250 kilos. When Belgian Blue bulls are bred with other breeds calving is easy. Complications can arise when breeding Blue with Blue.
Despite their size, Belgian Blue cattle are considered docile animals but, as always, care should be taken around bulls.
Belgian Blue cattle - meat & milk
The abundance of lean muscle gives carcass yields of up to 80%. When the Belgian Blue is used in crossbreeding programs with other beef and dairy breeds carcass yields increase.
While Belgian Blue cows can be used in dairy production, they are sometimes difficult to milk. Protein is around 3.2% and fat around 3.4%.
These sturdy cattle are excellent converters of food to weight and do well in most climates. The weather in Ireland certainly isn't problematic for the Belgian Blue.
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Belgian Blue cattle for sale and many other breeds