Holstein breed cattle otherwise known as the Holstein Friesians are a larger breed of cattle typically bred as one of the world’s highest dairy producing animals.
They have been recognized in the United Kingdom among several other countries as a predominant breed due to their efficiency in producing high volumes of milk.
A stylish breed, the Holstein is generally seen with distinctive color patterns of either red and white or black and white. The average weight of a single Holstein calf is between 80 to 90 pounds. The mature Holstein breed will generally weigh about 1,500 pounds standing at a height of 58 inches at the shoulders. They are bred close to 13 months of age at around 800 pounds and have been observed to have an average lifespan of approximately 4 years.
Originally from the regions of Europe, the Holstein breeds were developed in a region which is today known as the Netherlands in the northern provinces of Northern Holland, the Dutch province Frisia today known as Friesland, and the northern regions of Germany which today is referred to as the German state Schleswig-Holstein.
The Holstein was observed as the regional cattle bred by the Germanic tribes known as the Saxons and the ethnic groups known as the Frisians. Dutch breeders bred and monitored the development of the Holstein breed cattle with the purpose of producing a specific breed of cattle capable of effectively using their abundant grass resource.
The resulting breed over centuries of development using the process of artificial selection was a black and white dairy Holstein breed with an excellent milk producing capacity.
Dairy breeders within the United States of America in response to the enhanced growth of the New World markets began developing milk in North America turning to the Netherlands regions for acquiring their livestock. During this period more than 8,000 Holstein breeds were imported within the United States.
The Holstein breed in northern Europe is bred specifically for their dairy production while in the southern regions of Europe they are specifically bred for their beef.
The development of European national since 1945 has resulted in the Holstein breed cattle and their dairy products world recognition with more than 70 percent of the dairy products found north between the regions of Venice and Bordeaux containing more than 60 percent of the breeds.
This led to the increase in demand for dairy and beef producing Holstein breeds. Holstein breeds historically were bred as dual purpose cattle; however breeders within the United States were able to develop national derivatives of the Holstein breed which were used specifically for dairy production.
The Holstein breeds in the 19th century were imported to the eastern coastal ports of Scotland and the United Kingdom from the European regions consisting of Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Importation of live cattle breeds within the region was discontinued due to the outbreak of the Foot Mouth disease epidemic which struck the European continent in 1892. A selective group of ebullient breeders of the Holstein breed cattle founded a Society with the responsibility of actively registering the Holstein breeds in 1909.
The foundation was known as the Holstein Cattle Society of Britain. The Society in the year 1914 amended its name to reflect the Holstein-Friesian which was later changed as the Friesian Cattle Society of Britain in 1918 maintaining this current name for seventy years.
Breeding of the black and white British breeds of the Holstein primarily focused on the development of British Friesian bloodlines. The Holstein breeds were specifically bred for their use in dairy production as male calves were bred to be fattened in order to produce a lean quality beef while the female heifers were used as suckler cows.
In 1988 the Society again changed its name to the Holstein-Friesian Society in agreement to begin registering the Holstein breed in their herd-book.
The Holstein breed in 1850 was recognized and accepted in the Northern regions United States of America with the importation of one bull along with four heifers from the Dutch colony of New Netherlands. The Holstein breed made their first appearance in the United Kingdom shortly after World War II.
During this period more than 1800 in-calf breeds and a large number of bulls were imported from the Canadian regions jointly with a few boatloads of available store cattle breeds. In 1946 a Society with the purpose of registering the Holstein breeds within North America was founded this Society became known as the British and Canadian Holstein-Friesian Association, later known as the British Holstein Society.
Both associations joined together in 1999 to form a single Society known as the Holstein United Kingdom & Ireland later becoming the Holstein UK within the year 2002 resulting from the breeders from Ireland forming their own Society.
The Holstein Association of the United States was established in 1885 consists of more than 20,000 adult memberships providing interested members with the opportunity of owning, raising, milking and breeding their own registered Holstein breeds for their herds.
Through their staff of more than 13o employees, the Holstein Association of the United States actively monitors and maintains a large number of the known parentage and ownership records of the Holstein breed cattle.
Their wide data collection capabilities allow the association to trace the ancestral history of the first 8,000 Holstein breeds imported within the United States during the period 1852-1905.
One of the more popular websites used by many cattle men interested in purchasing their Holstein breed cattle is buy Holsteins. This portal provides Holstein breeders the benefit to sell their cattle breeds and embryos online to prospective buyers.
This option is widely recognized as one of the most effective ways to marketing the Holstein breed cattle allowing buyers to contact the respective owners to view the animals and conduct effective negotiations to achieve what may be observed as a mutual price according to the current market.
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