Guernsey Cow

Category: Farm

Guernsey cows are found all throughout the world, and are well known for their high quality milk production. Thus, they are prized as dairy cows. They are hardy and even-tempered, which further makes them an excellent and sought after choice for the farm.

Guernsey Cow

Guernsey Cow

Scientific & Common Names

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Mammalia

Order - Artiodactyla

Family - Bovidae

Subfamily - Bovinae

Genus - Bos

Species - B. taurus

Common Name - Guernsey

Characteristics

Guernseys can weigh more than 1000 lbs., but are on the smaller side amongst most cow breeds. They feature a distinctive orange, or reddish brown, and white coloration. Their coloration helps them with their heat tolerance, and Guernseys are able to adapt to a variety of climates.

Breeding

Guernsey cows mature early and are known for having few birthing complications. Even when crossbred with larger breeds, they do not experience difficulties. Their calves are born large and are easy to raise, making them an efficient cow for milk-producing farms. They are able to produce a large amount of milk with less food consumption than similar dairy breeds.

Behavior

This cow breed is known for being docile, having an ideal temperament for dairy cows. However, bulls can be aggressive and should be treated cautiously and with respect.

History

Guernseys are named for the Isle of Guernsey, a small island in the English Channel near France. The island was often under attack from pirates, so the Duke of Normandy sent monks in 960 A.D. to train the native islanders to defend themselves and work the land. The monks brought cows with them that would eventually become the Guernsey.

These cows were brought to the United States in 1840. Today's Guernsey is quite different from the original island cows, with advances in artificial insemination allowing for breeders to select and spread the best genes among thousands of offspring.

Present Status

Guernsey is a popular cattle breed and is found in many countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. However, they are declining somewhat due to the increased demand for Holstein cows.