Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Galloway Cattle

The Molslaboratoriet belongs to Naturhistorisk Museum in Århus and is placed in beautiful surroundings in Mols Bjerge Nationalpark. It is EF habitat area 186 and lies on the southern part of Djursland. In this area was since 1941 done a comprehensive ecological research.

The Galloway cattle is grazing in this area.

This Galloway bull was not at all interested in any contact. He disappeared as quickly as possible behind some trees. He looked very heavy and butterfat.

The Galloway cattle has its origin from the district Galloway in southwest Scotland. It comes from a dominant hornless race, which survived as feral cattle in Great Britain until the beginning of the 1800s. It is supposedly related to the hornless domestic cattle of the Scythians. (485-425 B.C.) It came to the British Isles before written sources exist and its arrival might coincide with the immigration of the Celtic tribes. But the prototype was spread in middle and northern Europe. Hornless domestic cattle is continuously mentioned in historic sources with traditions back to the Skoto-Saxon period (400-800 A.C.)

The original use of Galloway was as milking and beef cattle. In the early Middle Ages the agriculture was changed caused by an expansion of the wool industry in Europe, and the sheep became the dominating domestic animals. The main task of the cattle then was to keep the good grazing, where some of the plants were neglected by the sheep. This way of grazing is still kept in the Galloway district, where they say: "The sheep provide the bread, but the Galloway the butter and jam."

Although black is still the most common colour for Galloways, they can also be red and several shades of dun. A variation is belted Galloway. Galloways are quiet and easy to deal with, but if they are exposed to a threat, the flock sticks together to face the enemy. They are capable of digesting large amounts of nutrient-poor growth like heather and can survive at very poor grazing-areas - like heaths. The animals live long and are very fertile. The cows are known as solicitous mothers with much milk, and they can raise calves even under difficult conditions. Their fur and their resistance to diseases make them very tough and they can stay out all year. In Denmark the Galloway cattle is especially used for nature care. There are about 1000 Galloways in Denmark p.t.

Source: Molslaboratoriet, Naturhistorisk Museum, Århus Universitet.

The Galloways are not shy, they are just not curious or interested in a talk like the Hereford cattle, which is also grazing in this neighbourhood. This lovely fat bull calf had no comments.

"Hello sweetie, what fine curls you have!"
"May I take a photo?"
"Thank you, curley! Have a nice day!"
" Mmnnn! I couldn't care less!"

photo 4 September 2010, Molslaboratoriet, Strandkær, Mols: grethe bachmann


Teresa Evangeline said...

What a sweet face. And such curls! Perhaps she's practicing nonchalance.

Thyra said...

LOL! That's very possible!