Dutch Belted Cattle are the only race with belts that date back to the original “probed” cattle described in Austria and Switzerland. This breed moved to the Netherlands shortly after the feudal era and began to flourish in 1750. Dutch cattle with belts are too rare to be popular and other breeds are more productive, but there are initiatives underway for their conservation. The Dutch are very protective of their belted cattle and usually do not separate from them. They were very appreciated for their capacity of milking and fattening.
The race began to flourish in Holland around 1750. In the United States, the Dutch Belted Cattle are recognized as a dairy breed. It is a race of greater antiquity among the British producers of meat. It is thought that it is a race descendant of the Netherlands Lakenvelder, imported to the United States between 1838 and 1906. Since that date, the Dutch Belted Cattle have been reproducing independently of the Dutch population. In general, it is considered a breed adapted to cold and humid climates.
Likewise, it has maintained its intermediate size, with easy and rapid fattening in pastoral systems.
Characteristics of Dutch Belted Cattle
Dutch Belted Cattle are of moderate size, somewhere between a Jersey and Holstein. The adult cows weigh between 400 and 700 Kg., Whereas the bulls go from 600 to 900 Kg. Dutch Belted Cattle win and maintain the weight easily. This race has a characteristic belt that is the defining feature of this breed. The fur should be a bright white and extend completely around the middle. The belt should start slightly behind the shoulders and extend just below the hips.
Dutch Belted Cattle produce excellent milk that is about 4.5 percent butterfat with exceptionally small globules, making it easy to digest. They are also known for their minimal grain intake and grazing capacity, which is ideal for rotational grazing. In addition, this breed has small bones of easy calving, high fertility and meat yield with unusually good longevity. Also, this breed has friendly and gentle dispositions.
The breeders of Dutch Belted Cattle found the cattle profitable as well as beautiful. Many breeders preferred this breed because of its ease of handling and milk quality. It felt that the milk produced by Dutch Belted Cattle was easier to digest due to the soft curd and high in protein/fat. You may also like to read Simmental Cattle.
Dutch Belted Cattle is known for its forage efficiency. This breed is notable for its ability to turn mediocre mountain pastures into the meat. And at the same time, it can compete with other breeds when fed in more intensive conditions in the lowlands. It can consume fibrous grasses or of low value, which allows the mountain pastures to be uses.
It is capable of spending the winter outdoors under the condition that it has a minimum of shelter and that it receives hay or oat straw when there are no natural pastures. Also they graze the most ordinary herbs and lives in lands where other races would barely survive. You may also like to read Limousin Cattle.
The United States Cattle Breed Conservation Institute placed the Dutch Belted Cattle breed among endangered breeds. And this is because in that country there is at least 200 head of cattle register. In the United States, this breed is considered the origin for obtaining pure genetics. From 50 to 70 this breed was cross with several species producing several Dutch Belted mestizas.
Until the point arrived the Dutch breeders obtained the semen of the bulls of this race and they traded it to American breeders. In this way, they ensured the semen collection of pure breeds. But Dutch Belted Cattle is a breed with several characteristics that make it interesting for breeders because with it they can make crosses.
In addition, the male of this species can be cross with other females of other species. However, the crossing of the Dutch Belted Cattle female with other males of other species is not recommended. The aforementioned crossing has been responsible to some extent for the decrease in the number of pure cattle heads of this species.
This breed has unusual longevity and fertility, high meat yield and friendly dispositions. The Dutch Belted Cattle bulls are attracting the interest of dairy farmers since their feeding is based on herbs. The animals can have a thick, curly coat in their natural environment, which disappears when the animals are taken to other warmer climates.
Certainly, the females of this breed feed their young better. The bulls are very arrogant and confer their color and racial characteristics to their descendants of half-blood. In addition, the offspring of this breed produce very good carcasses with high-quality meat. You may also like to read Charolais Cattle.
This article is a guide to the Dutch Belted breed of dairy cattle. We hope you’ve found your way around this site and have learned something new about these ancient, historic animals! If not, please let us know and we’ll do our best to answer any questions or concerns. Good luck with owning one of these beautiful cows in America’s Dairyland!
As a reference: Wikipedia