Most cow breeds are bred by humans for milk, meat, or both. Sometimes, cows are kept as pets. Other times, they are bred to maintain weeds and grass on a farm. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different cow breeds in existence today. There is no official tally. Besides the cow breeds that we do know about, some rare breeds deserve recognition. Here are 11 of the rarest cattle breeds in the world.
The 11 Rarest Cattle Breeds in the World
1. Ankole Watusi Cow
The thing that stands out about this cattle breed is their long, dramatic horns. They are not the only ones on our list with this feature, but what is unique is that their horns round out and end up looking like large boomerangs when the cows that wear them are fully grown. The horns seem to sway as the cows walk, which is entertaining to watch.
2. Whitebred Shorthorn Cow
Bred mostly in England and Scotland, these dual-purpose cows are typically profitable for local farmers. They are great milk producers and grow quickly, which makes them decent options for meat-producing farms. They have blonde or light orange/yellow coats that give them a “childish” look even as adults.
3. Texas Longhorn Cow
As their name suggests, these cows have long horns that curve outward and upward from the sides of their heads. These stout animals are large and heavy yet kind and docile. The Texas Longhorn cow naturally evolved and adapted to the likes of United States land and soil. Today, the cattle are known for their lean meat production.
4. Belted Galloway Cow
This cattle breed is named partly after their look. The breed has a black or red front and back with a white band around the waist that makes them look like they have a wide belt on. In days past, this cattle breed was raised for pelts and by-products that would produce cheese. Today, they are kept for the same reasons but also to produce meat for human and animal consumption.
5. Highland Cow
Hailing from Scotland, these graceful cows have long, wide horns and shaggy fur around the tops of their heads that make them look like they have toupees on. Their bodies are covered in short yet shaggy fur that helps keep them warm in harsh winter weather. Their noses and mouths are wide and open, making it easy for them to graze.
6. Zebu Cow
The Zebu cow originated from the subcontinent regions of India, yet they are not well known or widely raised in other parts of the world. This species of cattle is popular for the hump located on their shoulders that makes them look like they walk with a bent back. These are hardy animals that are fairly easy to take care of with limited resources.
7. Holstein Friesian Cow
What is unique about this cow breed is that they have a rare pattern of black spots on an all-white body. First bred in Holland, Friesland, and Germany, this cow breed is one of the most notable dairy producers in existence. Their black and white bodies may not be impressive, but their ability to produce large amounts of milk is something that tends to attract farmers from all over the world.
8. Dexter Cow
What makes the American Dexter Cow unique is that they are an awesome pet. This breed is gentle with children, can get along with other animals, and is intelligent enough to learn their names and basic commands, such as “come” and “stay.” What more could a pet cow owner ask for? That said, these are not exceptional cows when it comes to making kids or producing milk.
9. Belgian Blue Cow
The Belgian Blue cow is a large breed compared to the others in existence today. These huge cows are muscular, stout, and independent. They typically have black and white coats and short yet agile legs. They are popular among the farming community because they have a short gestation period, they conform quickly, and they can easily crossbreed.
10. Miniature Zebu Cow
Being bred as far back as 6,000 B.C., the Miniature Zebu cattle is considered the smallest of all mini cattle breeds found in the world today. These are not meat and dairy cattle; instead, they are more prevalent in the pet industry. These small cows are usually black and white in color and have loving, sociable personalities when interacting with people.
11. Panda Cow
This cow has a coat that makes them look like a big panda bear, hence the name. Their entire body is typically black, with a white waistband and face markings. This cow’s markings are a result of coloring mutations. Fun-loving and curious, this cow makes for a great pet. They also do well when it comes to keeping fields maintained and calves fed.
There are many awesome cow breeds in existence, all of which deserve recognition. However, some breeds are rarer than others based on things like lineage and availability. The 11 breeds that we explored today offer a rare glimpse into the existence and availability of unique cow breeds today. Which type of cow interests you the most?
You may also want to read:
Featured Image Credit: Quinn Calder, Shutterstock