The Guernsey breed cattle have been bred mainly for its dairy properties. This breed cattle fawn in color with white markings is renowned for its richly flavored milk and docile temperament.
The milk produced by the Guernsey breed cattle has a distinctive golden color which is as a direct result from the presence of a strongly colored red-orange pigment known as beta carotene.
This pigment in addition is a vital source of Vitamin A which has been effectively used in cancer treatments and prevention. This content rich milk also has been found to contain a high percentage of butterfat usually about 5% and a substantial amount of protein value consisting of 3.7%.
The average Guernsey cattle breed cow will produce an average of over six thousand litres of milk per year. The Guernsey breed cows within the United States have been found to produce an average of more than 17,000 pounds of milk on a yearly basis consisting of 3.2 percent protein value and 4.5 percent fat content and are known as the producers of the highest percentage of milk containing the A2 type beta casein protein.
This rich Golden Guernsey trademarked milk has been sold within the United States and Canada as far back as from the early 1950’s through to the 1970’s as a premium dairy product.
The presence of the beta carotene found in the milk giving it the distinctive golden color was effectively used as a marketing strategy in determining the trademarked product name, Golden Guernsey milk.
This resulted in the copyright of the Golden Guernsey trademark to be applicable to milk which was only produced by the Guernsey breed cows.
Unfortunately the arrival of homogenization in addition to a variety of changes including the way milk was marketed and priced within the United States saw the end of the era once dominated by the Golden Guernsey trademarked milk.
However the American Guernsey Association today still maintains the Golden Guernsey trademark to be used among several small scale dairy farmers within the United States of America.
The Guernsey cattle breed was originally bred on the Island of Guernsey located on the British Channel. It has been long been believed that the breed were direct descendants from the Isigny cattle breed found in Normandy and the Froment du Leon breed from Brittany.
Available records shows the first time the Guernsey breed cattle were recognized as a separate breed was during the 17th century. The Island of Guernsey in 1789 placed an effective ban on the importation of foreign cattle as a measure to maintain the purity of their Guernsey breeds.
Irrespective of this ban, breeds which were evacuated from northern Channel island of Alderney during World War II were integrated with the existing breeds of Guernsey cattle.
The island of Guernsey for some time recognized the importance of exporting cattle breeds and semen as a vital ingredient to boost their economy which resulted in the exportation of a large number of Guernsey breed cattle to the United States in the early part of the 20th century.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy maintains a detain watch list of the Guernsey breed within the United States of America observing a minimum of 2,500 annually registered breeds within the United States and no more than 10,000 breeds within the total global population.
The average Guernsey breed cow has an estimated weight of between four hundred and fifty to five hundred kilograms, which is just over the known weight of the Jersey breed cow who has an average weight of four hundred and fifty kilograms or one thousand pounds.
A typical Guernsey breed bull will weight anywhere between six hundred to seven hundred kilograms, quite a small weight observed among domestic cattle standards and is generally found to display an aggressive temperament.
Guernsey breed cows have often been seen as one of the preferred breeds owned and bred by cattle men and ranchers for a number of reasons including, their high efficiency of dairy products, ease of calving, and long life.
The incidence of inbreeding however has become one of the major concerns due to the existence of the small gene pool in a specified area which is occasionally solved by swapping cows with other farms which have been observed to have no history in the overlap of their linage in breeds.
Often the Guernsey breed cows have been recognized as one of the more fragile breeds requiring more care and handling than other notable breeds.
The proud owners, breeders and residents of Guernsey Island have been celebrating the Guernsey breed locally bred cows with the now popular Guernsey Cow Parade in 2012 which was inspired by the internationally renowned Cow Parade.
The breeds during this event have been decorated by local schools, community groups and even renowned artists for display to be auctioned to raise funds for locally based institutions.
The American Guernsey Association founded in 1877 through their website provides a list of known breeders and cattle men where potential buyers are able to acquire Guernsey breeds for their herds.
Below are a few active breeders and suppliers where ranchers and cattle men are able to purchase Guernsey stock for their herds.
The SA Guernsey Cattle Breeders’ Society through its membership actively assists its members with buying and selling of their stock, exportation of animals and semen, and a variety of other services.
Snider Homestead Farm has been registering the Guernsey breeds since 1892. Observed as a six generation family owned and operated farm found in Bedford County in the state of Pennsylvania.
Lavon Farms located in Plano Texas is home to more than 200 heads of cattle consisting of mostly Guernseys in addition to a few Jerseys and Shorthorns.
Knapp’s’ Guernseys located in Epworth, Iowa provides an active list of Bred Heifers, Bulls, Cows and Embryos available for purchase.