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What is the history of the Belted Galloway? PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 03:02
brenda_with_cowThe Belted Galloway originated in Scotland.  Though they have been found in pictures dated back to the 11th century, the first documentation was in the 16th century in the former Galloway district of Scotland.  This is a very rugged and hilly seacoast, the breed had to be hardy to survive.

There is much speculation on the origination of the breed.  The breed may have been a cross between a Black Galloway and  Dutch Belted, which is a dairy breed.  There is no documentation to uphold this theory.  But with all the trafficking between the Belted Galloway and the Dutch Belted is the horns, which would disappear with the Galloway blood.

"In the Galloway cattle there were originally various markings and colors [with] the polled characteristics, the coat, the conformation and the fine carcass quality setting them apart from the other breeds.  Galloway's originally were black, spotted white-faced, red, dun, white and belted.  Although the white belt is a dominant genetic trait, occasionally solid black calves are born now in a belted herd, and belted calves are born in Black Galloway herds."brenda_with_beltie2

The Belties are raised for beef.  A good Galloway should have the following traits:

*      the body should carry a good depth and ribs well sprung,
*      level topline
*      straight underline
*      the flank deep and full
*      the hindquarters long

Outside of the Beltie conformation another important trait is the hair coat.  The skin is covered with a soft, wavy hair with a mossy undercoat.  The outer coat is hard and wiry that protects the animal.  (Challenging to clip for show)

brown_beltieWeights of a mature Belted Galloway vary depending on where they are in North America.  The larger animals tend to be in the colder climates.  This being more to were they were first raised.  They tend to do better in the colder climates.  A mature bull can range anywhere from 1800 to 2000 lbs.  A cow generally 1100 to 1300 lbs.  You will find larger animals in some of the northern areas.  Heifers are generally bred around 16 months of age.  With calves weighing any where from 65 to 85 lbs.

The meat of a Beltie is exceptionally lean and very favorable meat, which many once eating say there is no other meat to eat.  Since this is a beef breed cut ability is very important to the breeder.  Dressed weights are generally better than 60 percent of the live weight.  

baby_beltieIt is believed that the winter coat of the Beltie plays an important part to this.  The double coat of hair provides winter warmth rather than layer of back fat common in other breeds.  The Beltie heritage has conditioned them to survive in the harshest climates.  Breeders have discovered that they are a thrifty, medium-sized animal that have great cut ability.

Belted Galloway's were first imported to the U.S. in the 1920's by different breeders.  One of the importers was a breeder by the name of Harry Prock who first imported in 1949.

In this day and age of people worrying about cholesterol it maybe helpful to know that Beltie meat is more beneficial than pork loin, and about as good as roasting chicken and salmon.  Belties in testing have been shown to be low in total fat and in saturated fat.  They have also been found to be high in beneficial Omega 3 fatty acid and lower in Omega 6.  It is found that Linolenic acid (Omega 3) may lower LDL, is anti-thrombogenic, is cardio-proctective and essential for the brain and retina.
Last Updated on Sunday, 25 January 2009 16:20