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Breed: Dutch Belted:

  • The Dutch Belted's history is a bit unclear before the 1600s. A few records and paintings show belted cows grazing on the estates of Dutch nobility before this time.
  • Early belted cows were crossed with other breeds, like the Holstein.
  • The breed began to flourish in Holland in the 1750s.
  • The Dutch were very protective of their belted cattle and did not encourage their export.
  • The Dutch Belted were imported into the United States in the 1830s, and the breed become purebred in order to preserve the distinctive characteristics.
  • The herdbook was established in the US in 1886.
  • In Holland the breed has been diluted by cross-breeding. Now the US breed is the most purebred in the world, and it is being used to improve the Holland breed.
  • Dutch Belted cows are noted for their easy calving, easy handling, and docile, friendly nature. They have unusual longevity.
  • They are good for pasture-based farms (where the cows eat more grass than grain).
  • According to the breed standard, a Dutch Belted has a belt that is at least 6 inches wide making a complete belt around the body.
  • The belt occurs behind the withers and before the rump.
  • The udder is usually white.
  • The average Dutch Belted cow is just over 4 feet high at the withers, the average bull, just under 4 1/2 feet.
  • The average cow weighs about 930 pounds, the average bull, about 1,980 pounds.
  • The Dutch Belted is considered a critically rare breed; there are only about 200 registered Dutch Belted cattle in the United States.
  • There are other breeds that have belted cows, like the Galloway, Welsh Black, and Swiss Brown.

Dutch Belted

Sources: A Field Guide to Cows, by John Pukite, Falcon Press, Helena, Montana, 1996, pp. 20-21.
and OSU's Breeds of Livestock -- Dutch Belted Cattle page.