Photo credit: Buckhill Homestead Farm

Baby Animals: Heritage Breeds partner: 
Kerry Cattle Association (Westminster, MA)

Status: Critical
Adult Weight: 800 – 1000 lbs
Temperament: Docile

Kerry cattle are one of the oldest European breeds of cattle and are indigenous to Ireland getting their name from the country of Kerry. Known for their ability to thrive and grow on meager forage under harsh conditions, this breed was common amongst poor farmers in the impoverished regions of Ireland. Populations of Kerry cattle began declining in the 1800’s due to the importation and crossbreeding of other cattle breeds. Today, the breed is considered to be globally rare with great efforts to preserve and re-establish the breed in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Small and lean compared to other breeds, Kerry cattle are mostly black in color and can have a small amount of white on the udder. Considered small and lean in comparison to other breeds, bulls (males) average at 1,000 pounds and cows (females) average at 800 pounds when full grown. As active grazers and browsers, hardy and long-lived, the breed produces an average of 7000 –8000 pounds of milk in a lactation period with some cows capable of yielding over 10,000 pounds! For more information, please visit The Livestock Conservatory.

Baby Animals: Heritage Breeds at the Banke partner, the American Kerry Cattle Association provides an American based Cattle Registry and Herd Book Service specifically to assist breeders and other organized groups in verifying the purity of Kerry Cows in the North American herd. 


These Kerry cattle are pretty amoooosing aren't they? Watch this video of the Kerry Cattle Association's Secretary's farm to learn all of their names!

Meet Mischief and some of the other cows in Ireland’s Kerry Cattle Society Secretary, Raymonde Hilliard’s herd in this RTE Radio segment
Kerry Cattle are rare breeds.”

After learning that Kerry cattle are excellent dairy producers, cravings of cheese and or ice cream may begin. Try this easy homemade ice cream receipe -- Kerry cattle approved, of course!

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