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Breed: Guernsey:

  • The Guernsey breed was started on the Isle of Guernsey by a group of monks about a thousand years ago!
  • The monks probably brought their cattle from nearby France.
  • The breed developed in isolation over the years.
  • In 1840, 3 cows arrived from the Channel Islands (of which Guernsey is one) in New York.
  • In the 1860s, American farmers began importing a lot of Guernseys.
  • Guernsey's also became popular in Britian; the British breed society formed there in 1842.
  • Guernseys are especially prized for their rich, golden milk (that has a fair quantity of beta carotene in it).
  • Guernsey cows can tolerate the heat well and are good grazers.
  • They have a gentle disposition.
  • Guernseys are brown or fawn with white spots of various sizes (sometimes quite large) on the body and face.
  • The muzzle, hoofs, and udder are not pigmented.
  • The Guernsey has small, light-colored, dark-tipped horns.
  • The bull's average weight is 1,700 pounds; the cow's 1,100 pounds.


Source: A Field Guide to Cows, by John Pukite, Falcon Press, Helena, Montana, pp. 60-61.
Picture from Farming Pages (NZ).