Holstein cattle are incredibly popular. Indeed, the Holstein breed is by far the number one breed in the world for milk production.
Holstein cattle - Milk production
Milk yields of 14,000+ litres in a year (in a duster that milks the cows 4 times per day) have been recorded. In the Almarai farms in Saudi Arabia, the 66,000 cows produce over 14,000 litres on average, per year.
In Europe the average is around 7,500 litres. This can vary from a 6,000 litre average on a low cost, spring calving, grass based, farming system on twice a day milking to 12,000 litres on a three times a day milking, highly intensive system.
History of Holstein cattle
Holstein cattle originated in Europe. The breed developed from black animals and white animals used by the Batavians and the Friesians - ancient Germanic tribes who lived along the Dutch Rhine Delta around 2000 years ago. A breeding program focused on producing animals that would make the very best use of the area’s most abundant resource – grass. The end result is the highly efficient, milk-producing, black and white dairy cow we know today.
Holstein cow size
Cows typically weigh around 680 kilos. A healthy calf weighs around 40 kilos. Calf growth is rapid and they are easy to care for. The Holstein is good-natured and easy to handle.
Holstein cattle also contributes to the worldwide meat supply. They are often cross-bred with beef breeds to produce a better quality meat. Little wonder then that the Holstein can now be found in many countries around the world.
David Clarke Livestock source top quality Holsteins from here in Ireland and throughout Europe. Our strong relationship with the IHFA (Irish Holstein Friesian Association) helps us to source top quality Holstein cattle that will suit any system.