Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oreo Cows

Once upon a time, when I was up in central east Texas visiting a friend, we passed by a large meadow on our way to Canton and the town's monthly market days. One look at the unusual-looking cows grazing, and I asked her, "What are those?"

"Oreo cows."


They're actually called Belted Galloways. And thanks to here's a bit more about these very strange-looking bovine.

Galloway cattle are an ancient breed that originated in the rugged hill country of southwestern Scotland. They are related to the Angus which was developed in northeastern Scotland. While the Angus was selected for rapid growth on better feed, the Galloway was selected for its ability to thrive on poor forage in a cold wet climate. They were first imported to the States in the 1850s. Galloways are poled and medium in size, cows weighing between 1000 to 1500 pounds.

Black is the most common color in the breed with red and dun also found. White Galloways occur more rarely. Along with their black points (eyes, ears, nose, feet, teats) they are sometimes roan or speckled. Belted Galloways originated within the Galloway breed but are generally registered with a separate association. The Galloway is rare in North America but is increasing in numbers globally with an estimated population of about 10,000. Galloway cattle stand out for their forage efficiency, hardiness, maternal qualities, and excellence of beef. Galloways impart outstanding vigor to crossbred offspring.

Hmm...looks like the one in the forefront has double stuff.


Anonymous said...

I've been painting Belted Galloways for years. I just enjoy the patterns that can be created within a composition.

It's funny. A Belted Galloway breeder here in the US once told me that he couldn't find any artwork that featured them when he visited Scotland. His opinion was that they're not really that highly regarded over there. True or not, I don't know. He and his wife did mention that there was plenty of artwork featuring Highland Cattle, though. So perhaps it is true.

Linda Mooney said...

How interesting! When I got to Canton, I found postcards with Oreo cows on them. I'm guessing the cookie name associated with them makes them more unique to us.

Thanks for sharing!