What are dairy cattle?

Science for Youth April 11, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF

Holstein dairy cow in pasture
Image courtesy of USDA

Dairy cattle are livestock that are bred and raised for their milk.  Dairy cattle are raised on dairy farms.  The milk collected from the female cow is used to make dairy products like cheese and butter.  Dairy cattle must be milked at least twice a day.  The mother must also continue to have calves so that she will keep making milk.  The female cow will have a new calf every one to two years.  There are many different types of dairy cattle.  Each one has been bred for certain qualities such as the amount of milk she can produce and how easy it is for her to have a calf.

Some different types of dairy cattle are:

  • Holstein
  • Jersey
  • Guernsey
  • Brown Swiss
  • Ayrshire

FYFL Agricultural Sciences


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.