The Dutch Belted cattle breed also goes by the name Lakenvelder and originated in the Netherlands. If you’re looking for cattle with an excellent milk yield but one that could be used for meat as well, then this might be the breed you’re searching for.

The bulls can reach up to 2000 pounds, with the cows weighing in between 900 to 1500 pounds. The breed is docile, calm, and easily adaptable to native climates, making it pretty easy to care for.

If you’re considering purchasing Dutch Belted cattle for your farm, you need to know that this breed is rare and was recently put on the critical list by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

You can find everything you need to know about the Dutch Belted cattle breed in the article below.

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Quick Facts about Dutch Belted Cattle Breed

Breed Name:Dutch Belted, Lakenvelder
Place of Origin:Netherlands
Uses:Mostly milk, occasionally meat
Bull (Male) Size:1,350 to 2,000 pounds
Cow (Female) Size:900 to 1,500 pounds
Color:Black, Dusky Red, with a belt of white
Lifespan:18 to 22 years
Climate Tolerance:Native climates
Care Level:Easy
Production:Excellent milk yield
Temperament:Docile, calm

Dutch Belted Cattle Breed Origins

The Dutch Belted cattle breed got its start in Switzerland and Austria and is the only belted cattle breed that can actually be traced back to these areas at that time. The original Belted cattle breed was bred in Switzerland and Austria and labeled as “Canvassed” cows instead.

The ancestors of the breed we know today were moved from Switzerland and Austria by the nobility in the 17th century to the Netherlands, which is where we get our Belted cattle today.

The reason for this was the nobility of the time decided they wanted to breed animals of a certain color, with a band of white displayed around parts of the animals. This breed made it to the United States in the 1930s and was actually put on display by P.T. Barnum as a rare cow breed in his traveling circus.

As of now, this breed is considered to be rare and on the critical list.

brown dutch belted cow in a meadow
Image Credit: inavanhateren, Shutterstock

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Dutch Belted Cattle Breed Characteristics

The characteristics of the Dutch Belted Cattle make them pretty distinguishable from other breeds. They are medium-sized animals whose colors are black or dusky red with a wide white belt around their middle, centering mostly between the shoulders and hips of the cow.

Both bulls and cows have long horns that are slightly curved at the ends. This breed has a broad head that is also long and a bit dished in shape. They also have a triple wedge body, long wide rump, and a deep middle.

These characteristics make this breed excellent milkers but also make them suitable for meat purposes as well. So, if you’re looking for a cattle breed that is excellent for milk production and can be used for meat production too, then this might be the breed you’re looking for.

Remember, however, they are rare, so if you do find and purchase this breed, you need to take care of them well. This breed is also docile and well-behaved and you shouldn’t have any problems keeping them around pets or children. However, as with any animal, you want to be careful and not leave them alone together.


As previously stated, the Dutch Belted cattle breed is mainly used as a dairy cow. However, while the breed is mainly raised to be used for milk production, they can be bred for meat production as well.

That said, considering this breed is on the critical list, they are likely used for milk production only.

Dutch belted calf
Image Credit: inavanhateren, Shutterstock

Appearance & Varieties

As stated above, the Dutch Belted cattle breed is a dusky red or black color with a belt of white that makes them pretty distinguishable.

The female of the breed reaches between 900 to 1,500 pounds in weight on average, with the males topping out at between 1,350 to 2,000 pounds as it reaches maturity.

The lifespan of this breed is the same as most cattle, meaning they can live between 18 to 22 years if they are cared for properly, kept in the right climate, and are healthy, to begin with.


Since the Dutch Belted cattle breed is considered to be rare, there are only 300 of the breed estimated to be in the United States as of today. There is also said to be less than 1,000 left in the world.

Since the cattle are on the critical list, a lot is being done to save them at this point. This breed also does better in a climate that is closest to its native climate.

black Dutch Belted cattle with horns
Image Credit: Clara Bastian, Shutterstock

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Are Dutch Belted Cattle Breed Good for Small-Scale Farming?

If you can find one, a Dutch Belted cow is great for small-scale farming. Since the breed is pretty easy to care for, are great foragers, and are good for both milk and meat production, they will work well if you’re a small farmer that is just starting.

Since they are so docile, you don’t have to worry about aggression either.

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Final Thoughts

This should tell you everything you need to know about the Dutch Belted cattle breed, or at least enough to get you started. Remember, this is a rare breed of cattle, so if you do find some to purchase for your farm, make sure to treat them with the care they deserve.

Featured Image Credit: inavanhateren, Shutterstock