Dutch Belted Cows - The Antique Breed of Royalty
We have a family dairy cow for sale at this link!
Dutch Belted cows are an antique breed of royalty with special gifts for the people of today. Their sweet, easily digested milk brings calm nourishment in a time when most people have weakened digestion. Their gentle personalities bring ease in a time that is fractious and competitive. Their rare ability to thrive on forage makes it easy to choose to raise them as grass-fed only and, therefore, reap the benefits of the significant extra nutrition of milk raised naturally. Their noted ability to put on and maintain weight on fewer resources as well as their high and prolonged fertility bring some margin to the many families and small farmers of today who are struggling financially. Their small bones and ease of birthing allow for confidence in these times when most people have forgotten their connection to cows and no longer have any expertise with them. Their "dual purpose" characteristics provide flexibility with regards to herd management and development, buying and selling, and personal use Their natural levels of milk production feed us without encouraging over-consumption or single-mindedness about profit. Their striking beauty and noble air uplift the family homestead, diversify and strengthen the dairy farm, and draw others to you in wonder. Dutch Belted cows are a gift for the people of today that are on the critically rare endangered list. Consider having one or two of your own or an entire herd. Bring benefit to yourself, your family and your farm while helping to preserve the Dutch Belted's many gifts for the future.
A Field Guide to Heritage Cattle - A brief yet important discussion about the profound importance of heritage breeds of livestock as a genetic pool. Also discussed is the fact that "Because of their often quirky characteristics, downright good looks and uniformly self-sufficient nature, heritage cattle are often perfectly suited to acreage owners, small-scale operators and others who just want to keep a tighter rein on their own food supply." Their are short descriptions, links to over 20 heritage breeds of cattle, with Dutch Belted included, and clickable thumbnail photos. This page is a worth a visit just for the photos!
Breed: Dutch Belted - A brief history of the breed in bullet style.
The Cattle Site - Dutch Belted: A good brief discussion of Dutch Belted history, characteristics, statistics and distribution. There is also a great photo of the more rare red and white Dutch Belted cows.
CentralPets.Com - A very nice one page description of Dutch Belted cattle, their special characteristics and ratings with regards to compatibility, relative ease of care and relative ease of breeding.
Dutch Belted Cattle Coat Patterns - A three paragraph description of the genetics of the white belt of Dutch Belted cows.
Embryo Plus Cattle Breeds - Dutch Belted (Lakenvelder) - This history section is more detailed than most. Ends with "Dutch Belted Al sires are attracting interest among grass based stockmen and dairymen because of these features."
Farmers Try to Preserve Dwindling Breeds - Farmers in west central Ohio preserving a variety of rare breeds of livestock. One of the farmers notes that "the Dutch belted is a healthy breed, a grazer that does well in pastures and is less likely to come down with certain illnesses after calving."
Homesteading with Heritage Breeds - This article from Mother Earth News describes the homesteading experiences of one family including their delight with working with Dutch Belted cows.
How to Identify Dutch Belted Cattle - Read through five steps towards identifying a Dutch Belted cow. The introduction to this article states that Dutch Belted cows are too rare to be popular; (which I guess must be true by definition!) and that there are other breeds that are more productive. However, many find that it is precisely their critically rare status as well as their reasonable productivity that make them an ideal family cow.
How Now Oreo Cow! - This blog post provides and interesting and detailed history of the Dutch Belted breed along with a few photos.
Keep an Eye Peeled for Cows of a Different Stripe - A 1998 news release from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences about Dutch Belted's in Pennsylvania.
Love My Dutch Belted! - A terrific article that appeared in Countryside some time ago. The author details the gentle, easy digestibility of Dutch Belted milk as well as their ability to produce ample milk on forage alone. It was this article that inspired us to go grass-fed only with our Dutch Belted cows.
Milk Money - Hard work, brain power and savvy risk-taking have made these farmers as contented as their cows - This article in Business People Vermont is tells the interesting story of two brothers starting a dairy farm in their teens. Many years later they and their families are still running a high quality dairy together. The cows they are milking are Jerseys but if you scroll down the page, you will see a photo of a Dutch Belted ox which apparently comes when called and loves gummy candy. He is trained to work in a pair. Paul, the ox. works and shows. A nice illustration of some of the dual purpose nature of Dutch Belted cattle.
Noah's Park - In an idyllic setting, veterinary researchers are on a mission to preserve the diversity of livestock - and perhaps head off future catastrophe - The livestock included in this project were very carefully chosen and Dutch Belted cows play a prominent role. The article details some of the ways Dutch Belted cows are particularly suited to small farms. Tufts Magazine, Summer 2006
Rare Belted cows do it raw - This newspaper article about a farmer who lost barn and Holsteins to fire end then ended up with a new herd of Dutch Belted's ends with, “They are a curious breed. They’re more social, with more personality. They make more milk and put on more beef with less grazing than Holsteins and with them we are getting by. There’s never enough cash, but it’s stable. It’s slow growth, but we see better growth with the Belted.”
We've Got to Save the Chickens! Really! - Farmers in west central Ohio are working to preserve rare breeds of livestock One farmer, Leroy Meyer, grazes a dozen or so Dutch Belted cows in his 60 odd cow herd and has some useful things to say about their sturdier health, their cheaper board so to speak, their resulting higher quality milk and the place for those characteristics on organic farms.
Farms Which Feature Dutch Belted Cows
Avonstour Rare Breeds Farm and Farmstay - This farm in New Zealand specializes in rare breeds including Dutch Belted cows. Interesting tidbits of information about Dutch Belted cows included.
Cedar Grove Farm - This beautiful Vermont farm set out to create a beef cow that was red with a white belt, naturally polled, has an angus carcass, a good disposition, strong mothering instincts and milk production and thrives on forage only. They have accomplished this by selectively breeding Dutch Belted, Red Angus and Devon cows. The photos here are striking with their cows looking like our Pezra. Click also on the link at the bottom of the page about their cattle for sale for two more great photos.
Hi Holm Farms - This multi-generational, certified organic, dairy farm in New York state has one of the largest herds of registered Dutch Belted cattle in the northeast. This page includes a brief history of the breed along with links. Every year this farmer is working to improve and expand his herd.
Hicks Organic Dairy - This organic farm has been in operation for over 30 years in Michigan. They sell cow shares of their beautiful Dutch Belted cows. Read how they feed their cows and how delicious their milk is on their About Us page. See more photos of their cows, including their registered bull, on their Farm page.
Pleroma Farm - This diversified biodynamic farm and therapeutic retreat center provides biodynamically grown food to its guests, including raw milk from their herd of exclusively Dutch Belted cows. Their customers tell them that their sweet, sweet milk is like what their grandparents drank when they were children. Here and here are some nice photos of Dutch Belted cows, including a photo of their Dutch Belted Cow Farm Store. A short write up about Dutch Belted cows and the Pleroma Farm herd share program is located here.
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy - This link will take you to the Cattle page of the Conservancy's listing of endangered breeds. Dutch Belted cattle are listed here as being on the "Critical" list of endangerment.
Dutch Belted Cattle Association of America - This association has as its goal the "conservation and documentation" of the Dutch Belted cattle in America. This heritage breed is recognized as being a very valuable genetic pool needed by the modern dairy industry. This site offers a detailed description of the breed, lists of breeders and sources for AI, the information required for "breeding up" to Dutch Belted as well as a message board.
Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand - Dutch Belted (Lakenvelder) Cattle - A Rare Breed of Dutch Origin - A brief description including the translation of "lakenvelder". Also an historic photo of several Dutch Belted cattle.
SVF Foundation - A Bridge to the Future for Heritage Breeds - This site is from the Swiss Village discussed in the Noah's Park article listed above. They feature Dutch Belted cows. There is a nice news article about them and their Dutch Belted's on the site as a pdf file.
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