British Friesian Cattle

The British Friesian is a breed of cattle from the United Kingdom. The modern British Friesian dominated the dairy cattle population from the 1950s through the 1980s. Stock as well as semen were exported during this time throughout the world.

The original Friesian breed was imported to ports of England and Scotland during the 1800s until it was stopped in 1892 when a threat of foot and mouth disease became a concern. By the end of 1912 there were 1,000 bulls and 6,000 cows registered in the herd book. The British Friesian Cattle Society was formed in 1918.

In 1914, the importing of Friesian cattle once again started and a successful long living dairy breed was established. In 1936, breeds from the Netherlands were imported to introduce a dual purpose breed. From the 1950s on, the breed expanded into the modern British Friesian cattle of today.

The Friesian is a dual-purpose cattle used for beef production and dairy products. Beef animals slaughtered at eleven months are raised on barley, while steers are raised two years on grass and silage.

The cow will give a high yield lifetime of milk from home-produced feed and the bulls not used for breeding produce a high quality, lean beef product.

The British Friesian is a Holstein type cattle with distinctive markings. The large breed is marked with black-and-white hair varying from mostly black to mostly white. Some can also be red and white. The cow will weigh about 1,280 pounds and stand approximately 58 inches high. Breeding will occur when she reaches over 794 pounds. The ideal first calving is when she is between 23 and 26 months old. She will carry the calf for roughly nine and a half months.

Image Caption: British Friesian Cattle. Credit: Keith Weller/USDA/Wikipedia (public domain)