Belted Galloways are definitely a unique breed of cattle with the 3 colours of Black, Red and Dun, encasing a white belt or band around their stomach. As a result, Belted Galloways are also known as ‘banded cattle’, ‘belties’ or ‘oreo’s’.
The first records show Belted Galloways being developed around the 16th to 17th century in the rugged, harsh countryside of the former Scottish district of Galloway. There appears to be no actual recordings of how the Belted Galloway developed, however, theorists believe they were developed from the Scottish Galloways and the Dutch Lakenvelder resulting in an excellent beef animal with the “oreo” effect.
Belted Galloways were introduced into Australia in 1973 and although classed as a rare breed a few years back, are becoming a more frequent sight around the countryside. This is attributed to
- Their docile disposition
- Their high fertility
- Their ease of calving
- Excellent maternal instincts
- Naturally polled
- Feed conversion efficiency
- Excellent beef qualities and naturally lean
- Disease resistance
- Their spectacular good looks
I could rewrite the Belted Galloway’s history and full list of attributes, but instead will refer you to the different societies that have all the facts
Some of our personal experiences with our belties over the years that aren’t listed above have been
- Belmont Park Abigail was 17 ½ years old when we had to put her to rest due to a striated cruciate ligament – she was still feeding a steer that was 7 months old.
- Bonnibelt Barbie on her second calf, (a red heifer at 18 days) allowed a black bull calf (11 days old) to suckle after 24 hours and with minimal effort from human help. Barbie went onto fully feed both till they were weaned at 10 months.
- Bonnibelt Cutee was found to be approximately 6 – 7 months in calf at 13 months of age. It was ascertained it would be too complicated to abort, so a watchful eye and care was held. The result was a full term pregnancy, however, the calf was lost due to her small size but Cutee was saved and has had a number of successful and outstanding calves since. Doing the calculations, Cutee would have got in calf at a very young 4 ½ months. So please watch out when you have your cows running with the bull and there are heifers at foot.
- They have excellent memories and remember those that have harmed them, even after 5 years as we found out when a past owner came to see her cows. They also love those that love them and like most animals, they love their scratches.
Tony and I hope you enjoy the breed as much as we do.