Belted Galloway's - affectionately know as "Belties" - are famous for their Oreo-like appearance. Their coloring can however vary from the traditional black and white: common combinations include red or dur with a white belt as well as solid black. This Scottish/Dutch breed is known for their outstanding foraging capabilities, their hardiness and their ease in calving.
Originating from the rugged, hilly, sea coast of the British Isles, Belties are well suited for harsh conditions, with excellent foraging instincts and a shaggy second coat of hair that protects from the cold and damp of the winter. Due to their winter coat, Belties lack the common back fat layer for winter warmth. This lack of back fat leads to a more lean, flavorful meat with "carcass dressed weights well in excess of 60% - 62% of live weight" - US Belted Galloway Society.
A female Beltie can produce a healthy calf annual beginning from 14 months all the way into her late teen years. The ease in calving is due to the small size of the calves. Belties make excellent mothers and produce a large amount of extremely rich milk, contributing to very rapid growth in calves.
Other benefits include:
- The breed is very long lived, 17 to 20 years
- Males are naturally polled (hornless)
- Least amount of feed required for every pound of weight gained
Belted Galloway's are considered a "thrifty" breed, excellent for beef herds... plus they are super adorable. I urge those considering raising beef to consider this breed!