Ayrshire cows are a large breed used primarily as dairy cows. Hailing from the Highlands of Scotland, the Ayrshire is an adaptable breed that can exist in a range of harsh environmental conditions.
Scientific & Common Names
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Mammalia
Order - Artiodactyla
Family - Bovidae
Subfamily - Bovinae
Genus - Bos
Species - B. taurus
Common Name - Ayrshire Cow
Ayrshires are typically red and white, though the shade of red can range from light to dark. They can weigh over 1300 lbs. The pattern of coloration and ratio of white to red can vary greatly. Ayrshires are known for their efficiency in milk production and their strong foraging abilities.
These cows have few breeding complications, and the young are quite easy to raise. This contributes to their desirability as a dairy cow, along with their longevity and good health.
This cow exhibits strong character and can be difficult at times. They can be stubborn and hard to train.
Although the Ayrshire cow is now native to Ayr County in Scotland, and that's where its name derives, many experts now believe they may have originated in Holland. Though Ayrshires can be unruly, many farmers prefer them thanks to their longevity, hardiness, and low difficulty calf rearing. While they are most prevalent in the United Kingdom, Ayrshires can be seen all over the world, including Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and other states found in the American northeast.
There are over 60,000 Ayrshires in the United Kingdom. However, the breed has declined in the United States. It is classed as "recovering", but it still requires observation to ensure that it endures in North America.