The Belted Galloway is a rare beef breed of cattle originating from Galloway in South West Scotland, adapted to living on the poor upland pastures and windswept moorlands of the region. The exact origin of the breed is unclear although it is often surmised that the white belt that distinguishes these cattle from the native black Galloway cattle may be as a result of cross breeding with Dutch Lakenvelder belted cattle. Belted Galloways are primarily raised for their quality marbled beef, although they are sometimes milked and purchased to adorn pastures due to their striking appearance.
Galloway cattle are naturally polled. The most visible characteristics of the Belted Galloway are its long hair coat and the broad white belt that completely encircles the body. Its coarse outer coat helps shed the rain, and its soft undercoat provides insulation and waterproofing, enabling the breed to happily overwinter outside. Black Belties are most prominent, but Dun and Red Belties are also recognized by breed societies, the latter being comparatively rare and sought after. A Belted Galloway cannot be registered if it has white other than the belt above the dew claw. A beltie also cannot be registered if it is tricolored, such as having a spot of black on a dun belted cow. Tricolored Belties are uncommon. Another rare mark is a bullseye. It is a blotch of color somewhere on the midsection surrounded by white. This kind of mark is incredibly rare and the beltie bearing it becomes quite valuable.
Bulls weigh from 1,700 pounds (770kg) to 2,300 pounds (1045kg) with the average being 1,800 pounds (820kg). Cows weigh from 1,000 pounds (454kg) to 1,500 pounds (680kg) with the average being 1,250 pounds (568kg). Calves generally weight from 65 pounds (30kg) to 75 pounds (34kg), although 60 pounds (27kg) and 80+ pound (36kg) calves are not unheard of. Belties are generally of a quiet temperament, but still maintain a strong maternal instinct and will protect a calf against perceived threats.
Belties are well-suited for rough grazing land and will utilize coarse grasses other breeds would shun. They are able to maintain good condition on less than ideal pasture, and produce a high quality beef product on grass alone. The USDA Cycle IV Germ Plasm Evaluation Program at the Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) showed that Galloway crosses placed at the top of the chart for flavor, juiciness and tenderness when compared to eleven other breeds.
There are a number of Beltie breeders throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK with a noticeable concentration in the breed's home area of Dumfries and Galloway. The Belted Galloway Cattle Society holds its Annual General Meeting and Breed Society Show and Auction every October in Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway. Belties are also raised in Australia with herds found throughout the country, even in sub-tropical areas.
Belted Galloway art to benefit farm ; Aldermere's art show and sale will help support a wide variety of programs.
Aug 08, 2007; ISAAC KESTENBAUM News Assistant Portland Press Herald (Maine) 08-08-2007 Belted Galloway art to benefit farm ; Aldermere's art...