July 13, 2020

Author Archives: shaun

Tests have shown that the Galloways requires the least amount of feed per kilogram of weight gain making the cattle efficient converters. The Belted Galloway consume more varieties of flora than any other breed on tests conducted in Germany/Scotland.

The Belted Galloway’s heavy double hair coat means that heat loss is reduced, winter feed costs are significantly less and rain hardly penetrates in cold, wet weather. The Belted Galloway cow has about 4000 hairs to the square inch making the coat resistant to severe cold.

Belted Galloway Beef has been shown in a research study conducted at the University of Guelph – 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, full of flavour and juicy and were the winners of the 2003 Sydney Royal Show “Beef Taste Test”.
Data collected in the U.S. has shown that the beef dresses out at 60 – 62% of live weight making it a very profitable breed.

The Belted Galloway is popular in a number of countries ranging from Britain and Ireland to Australia, America, Canada and Switzerland.


Posted in Breeders

In the U.S., the majority of breeders are in the East, with herds throughout New England, the Midwest, and the Southeast. The breed is slowly moving westward and there are now a few herds scattered in the western states of California, Oregon and Texas, with registered animals in all continental U.S. states. The U.S. Belted Galloway Society website contains a listing of breeders by region.

There are a number of Belted Gallaway breeders throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK with a noticeable concentration in the breed’s home area of Dumfries and Galloway. The Belted Galloway Cattle Society holds its Annual General Meeting and Breed Society Show and Auction every October in Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway.

Belted Gallaways are also raised in Australia with herds found throughout the country, even in sub-tropical areas. A small number of Belted Galloway herds are present in New Zealand and Canada.

The Belted Galloway is a rare beef breed of cattle originating from Galloway in South West Scotland,  adapted to living on the poor upland pastures and windswept moorlands of the region.  The exact origin of the breed is unclear although it is often surmised that the white belt that distinguishes these cattle from the native black Galloway cattle may be as a result of cross breeding with Dutch Lakenvelder belted cattle.

Belted Galloways are primarily raised for their quality marbled beef,  although they are sometimes milked and purchased to adorn pastures due to their striking appearance.  In the US these cows are often informally known as “police car cows,” “panda cows” or  “Oreo cows” after the Oreo cookie.

Galloway cattle are naturally polled. The most visible characteristics of the Belted Galloway are its long hair coat and the broad white belt that completely encircles the body. Its coarse outer coat helps shed the rain, and its soft undercoat provides insulation and waterproofing, enabling the breed to happily overwinter outside. Black Belted Gallaways are most prominent, but Dun and Red Belted Gallaways are also recognized by breed societies, the latter being comparatively rare and sought after. A female Belted Galloway cannot be registered in the Herd Book if it has white above the dew claw other than the belt, but can be registered in the Appendix. A bull can only be registered in the Herd book if it has no other white than the belt.

Bulls weigh from 770kg to 1045kg with the average being 820kg. Cows weigh from 450kg to 675kg with the average being 565kg. Calves generally weight from 132.2kg to 198.2kg. Belted Gallaways are generally of a quiet temperament, but still maintain a strong maternal instinct and will protect a calf against perceived threats.

Belted Gallaways are well-suited for rough grazing land and will utilize coarse grasses other breeds would shun. They are able to maintain good condition on less than ideal pasture, and produce a high quality beef product on grass alone. The USDA Cycle IV Germ Plasm Evaluation Program at the Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) showed that Galloway crosses placed at the top of the chart for flavor, juiciness and tenderness when compared to eleven other breeds.