The Ayrshire is a breed of dairy cattle that originated in Ayrshire, south west Scotland. It was traditionally known as the Dunlop or Cunninghame and were exported all over the world. In New Zealand the Ayrshire is still known as the Dunlop. Ayrshire cattle are frequently bred with Holstein cattle to improve the Holstein’s fertility.
The cow is known for its ability to convert grass into milk, easy calving and longevity. The Ayrshire is a hardy breed that can adapt to management systems as well as most any conditions. It is an excellent commercial dairy cattle and it is easy to raise. Its milk has moderate butterfat and is high in protein.
Because of its hardiness, it rarely has foot or leg problems. The Ayrshire is used as a mascot in New Zealand, plush toys and cartoons are produced by a company called Calci-yum. Another mascot is from South Africa, where it is featured as a cartoon drinking milk, on flavored milk cartons.
The average adult Ayrshire weighs between 990 to 1,320 pounds. It is typically red and white, but the red markings can sometimes range from a shade of orange to a dark brown.
Image Caption: Ayrshire Cattle. Credit: böhringer friedrich/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5)