We raise the Dutch Belted breed for it’s dairy and beef abilities. (And frankly they are just beautiful to watch grazing out our farmhouse windows.) Although we only sell the beef, we love the fact that the calves can stay on their mothers and receive their nutritious milk for many months. Our calves suckle for a year on average. Allowed to graze with their mothers and supplemented with whole corn the veal we produce is somewhere between milk fed and corn fed veal.
Dutch Belteds are efficient animals of moderate size. Intelligence and friendly disposition make Dutch Belted cattle an excellent choice for Church Hill Farm.
The Dutch Belted breed was established in the Netherlands in the 17th century. From the records obtainable, it seems they were bred by the nobility who conceived the idea of breeding animals of all kinds to a particular color, mainly with a band of white in the center with both ends black or red on the rare occasion. For over 100 years the nobility and their descendants worked upon this striking color marking until they produced belted cattle, rabbits, goats, poultry, and swine. We have as a result of their labour the Dutch Belted cattle. They were first imported into the North America in 1838.
The breed thrived in our climate conditions and they were prized for their ability to produce naturally homogenized milk. The fat molecules are smaller resulting in more easily digestible milk products. They were considered a worthy animal until the 1940’s when Holsteins became the dominant dairy breed. We like the fact that we can milk them for our own use and Max, as an amateur cheese maker, has a ready supply of milk for producing his artisanal cheese.