5 Best British Breeds of Cattle (With Pictures!)

The United Kingdom is known for producing some of the best breeds of cattle in the world. Farms and homesteads across America commonly feature herds with British origins. 

Whether you are looking to raise them for beef or milk, you will find a lot of fantastic British breeds to invest in. To help you choose the right herd to add to your collection, here we reveal the 5 best British breeds of cattle to consider. 

Best British Breeds of Cattle

1. Highland cattle

Affectionately referred to as gentle giants, Highland Cows are undoubtedly one of the most popular British breeds. Easily recognizable thanks to their long horns and flowing coat, this breed is notorious for being hardy, affectionate, and playful. 

They can be bred for meat or milk, and their popularity makes them one of the more profitable breeds to own. As they were bred in the highlands of Scotland, they can withstand harsh environments.

Although they are most commonly found in a beautiful red color, the breed can also present as black, brown, white, silver, and brindle.  

Related: Top 5 Hidden (And Not So Hidden!) Disadvantages Of Highland Cattle

2. Aberdeen Angus

The original uploader was Americasroof at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Developed in the 19th century, the Aberdeen Angus has gone on to become one of the most popular British breeds worldwide. Naturally polled, they are mostly black in color, but they can present as red too. 

Their popularity stems from the fact they are easy to manage, good-natured, hardy, and they mature much faster than other breeds. Very little assistance is required during calving, and they make excellent mothers. Health issues such as sunburned udders and cancer of the eye also aren’t an issue with this breed. They are adaptable to all weather conditions too, and they produce beautifully marbled meat. 

It isn’t difficult to see why so many people around the world love the Aberdeen Angus breed. 

3. Dexter

By David Merrett from Daventry, England – Dexter Cow, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12378495

Dexter cattle are the smallest breed of British cattle, and they are known to be a dual-purpose breed. They originated in Ireland, and have made their way across the globe, now found in countries like the United States, Australia, Argentina, Cuba, and Germany. 

According to the Dexter Cattle Society, these cattle mature early and produce beef with an excellent flavor and quality. The fact that the meat can be produced economically is also a major plus point. If you’d prefer, you could raise them for milk instead. Their milk has a high butter fat content and great levels of protein. 

Available in a great choice of colors, the Dexter breed is versatile and easy to keep.  

4. Hereford

Adaptable, good mothers, and resistant to disease, Hereford cattle are popular with farmers in the United States. While they do have some downsides, they are largely a pleasure to keep. 

They can be reared for meat or milk, and they are known to be highly fertile. Bulls have a shorter gestation period than the average breed, and their meat is considered high-quality. If you are looking for a popular breed to add to your homestead that provides versatility and is relatively easy to manage, Hereford cattle are a great choice. 

5. Jersey

Known as the second largest dairy breed, Jersey cattle are typically light brown in color. It costs less to produce their milk than it does with other breeds, and the quality is unrivaled. Jersey milk is notorious for its creamy, high butter-fat content. It also has excellent nutritional value, making it a popular choice for consumers.

Not only is Jersey milk one of the testiest produced, but it also commands a higher price than the milk produced by other breeds. It isn’t just their milk that makes them so popular, however. These attractive cows also have good temperaments, they are less susceptible to lameness, and they are efficient to keep.

These are just 5 of the best British breeds of cattle you can introduce onto your homestead. Before deciding which breed is right for you, always consider both the pros and cons. Each breed has its own potential downsides you need to factor in if you want to make the right decision.