About Belted Galloway Cattle
This distinctively marked, hardy breed of beef cattle originated in the Galloway area of south-western Scotland. The bleak, austere, rough hill country origin of the "Beltie" breed has resulted in hardy cattle with characteristics which adapt readily to tough Australian conditions. The breed is known to have existed for over three hundred years, and its exact origins are lost in the mists of time.
The "Beltie" is a naturally polled (hornless) animal, and the distinctive "belt" markings are also dominant. The colourings can be black, dun (brown) or red with a white belt. Of significance to Australian farmers is their ability to produce beef economically under tough conditions. Historically, these cattle were not shedded in the Scottish winters, and thus they have evolved into a hardy, adaptable breed with good foraging ability, easy calving and the capacity to thrive in conditions where other breeds struggle.
The cows are long lived, and are known to produce live calves into their late old age. The "Beltie" mother is renowned for her mothering ability, and produces a very rich milk supply which produces a well - grown calf at weaning time. Calves are small at birth, which ensures easy calving, but "grow like mushrooms" with the good milk supply.
The Beltie produces high quality beef, which is lean and tasty. The meat is nicely marbled, but is otherwise lower in superfluous fat . This ensures that the carcass cuts out at an economical rate, up to 62%.
The Belted Galloway has a magnificent winter coat, which comprises a double layer of hair to give excellent insulation from the cold. There is a long "overcoat" which readily sheds the rain and snow and helps keep the animal dry, and a very soft, mossy "undercoat" which traps the warmth and gives the Beltie the ability to maintain its body weight with 20 - 25% less food intake in cold weather. In hot weather, the coat is shed to a fine cover of hair. The hide, in its full winter glory, is particularly attractive, and is sought after as a hard wearing floor rug and definite conversation piece.
The markings on the Belted Galloway are striking, and from the point of view of "eye appeal" make the breed instantly recognisable. They also have a very practical benefit, as the markings make the animal highly visible. This is a significant help with aerial mustering, or in locating new calves or strays.
The Belted Galloway breed has become increasingly popular, and membership of the Australian Belted Galloway Cattle Breeders Association has grown by over 30% in the past 12 months.
The Belted Galloway is proving to be a winner with a wide diversity of breeders, ranging from the owners of vast stations in the dry centre of the country, to those with small rural holdings. The Beltie is also popular with dairy and other beef breeders as a valuable sire of cross bred calves.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:-
AUSTRALIAN BELTED GALLOWAY ASSOCIATION Inc.,
P.O. BOX 108,
GOODWOOD. SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 5034
TEL: - (08) 82105211