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Penrose Colorado
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Belted Galloway Cattle
Breed Information

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Photo Copyright © by
Ranch owner (photographer)

Developed in the 16th century, the Belted Galloway (a heritage beef breed), is polled (hornless). The breed originated in Galloway, southwestern Scotland and imported into North America beginning in the early 1940's. They are also known as "Belties" and sometimes called "Oreo" Cows. Belties are primarily Black, Red, or Dun and normally the same color on each end, with a white belt around the middle. The Belted Galloway Society in the United States was founded in 1951.

The Belted Galloways heritage has conditioned them to survive in harsh climates. Winter warmth is provided by a double coat of hair (wooly under coat shed in the summer), instead of the thick layer of back-fat most breeds have. With their double hair coat, Belties need less feed than other breeds to maintain their body heat in winter and their coat has the ability to shed water. Even in very cold weather, the rain hardly penetrates their coat. From summer heat, to winter cold, Belties can thrive all year long with minimal shelter.

Belted Galloways tend to be very docile, which means they're easy to handle and care for. They exhibit terrific foraging ability and they're not picky about what they eat. A Danish study found that compared to other breeds, the Galloway consumed many more different types of flora. Since they eat things passed over by other cattle breeds, they can flourish even with less than ideal conditions.

Belted Galloways are medium in size, with cows weighing up to 1,300 pounds and bulls up to 2,000 pounds. At birth, bull calves weigh 70 to 80 pounds and heifer calves 60 to 70 pounds. Genetically, Belties are known for their longevity and hardiness, are resistant to disease, have high fertility rates and calving is easy for them. They exhibit great mothering abilities and are very protective of their calves against predators.

Belted Galloway Beef has been shown in a research study conducted at the University of Guelph, Ontario Canada, to have a total fat content of about 2%, an extremely low percentage. The same study showed that the Belted Galloway Beef tested, only contained about 1% saturated fat. In addition, it showed that Belted Galloway beef had the same fat content as chicken and fish, so fits in well with a healthy diet. Belted Galloway beef is exceptionally tender, fine textured, well marbled, full of flavor, juicy and the winners of the 2003 Sydney Royal Show "Beef Taste Test".

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See the Benefits page for information on why grass fed beef is healthier for you to eat than grain fed.

Additional photos and information about the breed will be posted soon. Please check back.

This page updated 21 August 2020 @ 0700 Mountain

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