The Ayrshire breed originates from the Scottish County of Ayre but the breed has come along way from its humble roots through careful breeding. The improvement of the breed was thought to have begun around 1750 when it was crossed with other breeds such as, Teeswater cattle and Channel Islands cattle.
The native cattle of the region prior where said to have been small in stature, ill-fed and bad milkers.
The early Ayrshire breeders carefully selected and improved on the genetic traits of the breed to develop the breed we are used to today.
The Ayrshire is hardy and well suited to the climate in Ayre, an efficient grazer, renowned for vigour and as an efficient milk producer. They are also considered to have superior shaped and quality udders. Their milk composition is suited to milk and cheese production.
The Ayrshire is a medium sized cattle breed and red and white in colour with the red varying greatly in shade. They are a rugged and strong breed with excellent udder conformation and adapt to all farm management systems.
The Ayrshire is is one of the best foragers, extremely hardy and suitable for adverse climates due to the ruggedness and unfavourable climate of their origins. These traits make them an exceptional commercial dairy breed. Their calves are known for their vigour and ease to raise and their bull calves make profitable steers.
Top milk producing Ayrshires can exceed 20,000 pounds of milk.
They are hardy, very efficient grass converters, known for low somatic cell counts, easy calving, longevity and have no genetic diseases. Their milk has high fat, protein and kappa casein making it ideally suited for yogurt,, cheese and ice cream production.