Dairy Shorthorn Cattle in Australia
Meat and Milk in one package! - The dual purpose Shorthorn Cattle
The Dairy Shorthorn is a deluxe breed for the production of high quality milk and prime beef with the following features:
- Producing high quality protein milk
- Easy calvers, usually annually
- Long lived and good temperament
- Cows are still being milked commercially in many herds
- Their blending ability with other red dairy breeds and the high protein quality of milk produced could be a big plus in your herd
- With careful breeding selection, they will also add size and scale to the herd
- These are one of the oldest British breeds. Bulls are ideal to cross with other British and Continental females
- Adding Dairy Shorthorn milk to the herd without losing existing size or scale
- Many Dairy Shorthorn bulls weigh in excess of 1000 kg
- Crossing well with dairy breeds, the females make excellent mothers, while the steers are more than comparable with other dairy crosses.
The Mothering Breed
These cattle are producers of top quality calves, whether straight bred or in a cross breeding enterprise. Dairy Shorthorn cows will add quality milk and ease of calving to your herd.
Their temperament and mothering ability make them a natural choice to enhance your herd.
Industry newcomers should definitely consider making Dairy Shorthorn Cattle their cattle of choice.
Shorthorn cattle can be traced back to the 16th Century in Great Britain, where the breed originated. They are the oldest recorded breed existing in the world today. Over 150 years ago, Shorthorn breeders in the United Kingdom differed in their objectives (as do many cattle breeders today). Some concentrated on beef characteristics whilst others preferred to keep their cattle more versatile, allowing them to be utilised in the production of both milk and beef.
Shorthorns of this latter type were the original cattle brought to Australia with the earliest settlers. They formed the basis of many of the greatest herds in this country, including those pioneer heroes that walked overland to the Kimberleys and other remote areas.
Modern Dairy Shorthorns, (Milking Shorthorns, or 'dual purpose' Shorthorns as some people prefer to call them), still exhibit this versatility that enables them to economically produce milk for the factory, or to raise calves producing prime beef at specific ages and weights.
Description and Type
Dairy Shorthorns are big, strong-framed cattle with a hardy constitution. The cows breed regularly, calve easily and exhibit great longevity allowing many years of low cost production, with a high residual value.
Dairy Shorthorns may be horned or naturally polled, and have the traditional Shorthorn colours of red (brown), white, red and white, or roan, a blending of red with white. This range of colours ensures compatibility when Dairy Shorthorns are crossbred with other breeds of cattle.
The name Dairy Shorthorn in itself can be misleading to prospective purchasers. Mature Dairy Shorthorn cattle carry as much 'heavy fleshing' (or muscle) as most beef breeds, and have the added advantage of an ample milk supply. Cows can weigh 700-800 kgs. Bulls frequently weigh in excess of 1000 kgs and have been recorded as heavy as 1500 kgs.
Dairy Shorthorns are placid, easy to handle & manage and resistant to eye cancer. They are adaptable to all climates in Australia.
The modern Dairy Shorthorn female is unrivalled in her ability to raise top quality calves to vealers, steers or bullocks. She is considered the 'Super Mum' for today's beef producers, with her well attached ('tightly held'), correctly shaped udder and medium-sized teats which present no problems for calves.
Commercial cattlemen readily recognise the worth of Dairy Shorthorns in today's highly competitive beef market, where these cows and heifers command premium prices at regional sales.
Dairy Shorthorns have been widely used as 'foundation' females in the establishment of the European breeds introduced to Australia in more recent times (eg Charolais, Limousin, Maine-Anjou).
There can be no doubting the value of Dairy Shorthorns used in the breeding of other strains of Shorthorns, in particular the Poll Shorthorn. Many stud records carry the letters D.S. in their pedigrees. D.S. cows mated with Poll Shorthorn bulls have produced calves off grass at 10 months of age weighing 450-500 kgs.
Dairy Shorthorn bulls find a ready market in commercial beef herds (Shorthorn, Angus and Hereford), where their great scale and inherent milking characteristics are transmitted to their progeny. This produces faster growth rates in male calves and highly valued crossbred females, used for future generations of beef production.
Dairy Shorthorn bulls, particularly the roans and whites, normally produce attractive coloured roan calves from any type of cow.
Dairying (Commercial Milk Production)
There are dairy herds of Dairy Shorthorns in several states, particularly in Victoria, producing large quantities of milk with high protein yields.
More Information About Dairy Shorthorns
For more information, please contact:
President - Malcolm Douglas - 0429 956 906
Vice President - Karen Doggett - 0408 353 953
Junior Vice President - Dylan Jewell - 0451 298 786
Secretary - Jenny Tuohey - 0448 588 417
Visit our website: dairyshorthorn.com