Heritage Cattle Breeds for the Small Farm
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Guernseys are medium to large, with cows weighing 1,400 pounds and bulls 2,000 pounds. Guernsey cattle range in color from fawn to golden with white spotting and golden skin. The breed is typically horned, though polled strains have been developed. Cows are noted for their quiet dispositions and as good grazers, and they can produce rich milk on a grassfed diet. Between 1970 and 1990, annual registrations for the Guernsey breed dropped by 60 percent. The modern milk industry favors quantity over quality, which explains the Guernsey’s fall in popularity. The breed would make a great addition to a small farm or homestead interested in grass-based dairying or developing niche dairy products using heritage cattle.
Carolina born and raised, Jennifer Kendall resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband, Bassett Hound and Orange Tabby, and dreams of one day owning some of these heritage breeds.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect more than 170 breeds of livestock and poultry from extinction. Founded in 1977, ALBC is the pioneer organization in the United States working to conserve historic breeds and genetic diversity in livestock. ALBC’s mission is to ensure the future of agriculture through genetic conservation and the promotion of endangered breeds of livestock and poultry.
Membership in the organization is $35 per year. For more information or to join, call 919-542-5704 or visit the website www.ALBC-USA.org.
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