There are 250 recognized breeds of cows living in the world today. One of which is the Galloway cattle breed. Galloway cattle are a strong, sturdy breed that happily lives on family farms and commercial ranches. Some have even been known to live as pets of families with large yards.

These are gorgeous cattle that can withstand cold climates and traverse rigid lands. There is much to learn about this interesting breed of cattle. We put together a guide to help you get a better understanding of the Galloway cattle.

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Quick Facts About Galloway Cattle

galloway cattles lying on grass
Image Credit: Antranias, Pixabay
Breed Name:Polled Cattle
Place of Origin:Scotland
Uses:Meat, cheese, hide
Bull (Male) Size:1,700 to 2,300 pounds
Cow (Female) Size:1,000 to 1,500 pounds
Lifespan:17 to 20 years
Climate Tolerance:Cold, rugged
Care Level:Moderate
Temperament:Friendly, curious, gentle

Galloway Cattle Origins

The Galloway is an ancient breed of cattle that can be traced back to Scotland, but their exact origins are quite obscure. It is said that the Galloway cattle were deliberately bred with standardized requirements beginning in the 1700s. Soon after, they became a valuable trading asset between the countries of England and Scotland. These cattle are bred for multiple uses in today’s world, where they reside everywhere from Switzerland and the United States to Canada and Austria.

side view of a galloway cattle
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Galloway Cattle Characteristics

Galloway cattle are gentle creatures that don’t mind the companionship of humans if they are used to being around them. These cows are curious and love to graze large expanses of land and uncover things like rocks and caves. These animals take good care of their young and stick together in packs whenever possible. They are more likely to spend time in the shade under a tree than to stand in the sun all day long.


The uses for Galloway cattle are many. First, they are bred for meat because of their large and heavy frames. Second, these cows are great milkers and make excellent-tasting cheese. Third, they are used for their hide, which is traded throughout the world. Finally, they are used to keep fields from becoming overgrown so farming can commence on time during the growing season.

galloway cattle eating grass
Image Credit: Ralphs_Fotos, Pixabay

Appearance & Varieties

The Galloway cattle is a large, stocky animal with a thick double-coat of wavy hair and large, round eyes. Instead of horns on their heads, they have large knobs that are referred to as polls. Their legs are thick and muscular and their bellies are big and round. They have big fluffy ears, and their hair grows over their eyes, giving them a sheepish look. Their coats are usually black, but some have red highlighting.

Population, Distribution & Habitat

There are about 10,000 Galloway cattle in existence on the planet today. Many of these are bred in Europe, but they are raised all over the world, including North America. Since they can withstand rigid land, they do well in farm settings, rocky mountainsides, and rolling hills.

Are Galloway Cattle Good for Small-Scale Farming?

Galloway cattle are good for both small- and large-scale farming. A family farm can host two or three cattle and harvest enough milk, cheese, and meat to last all year. Large farms can host dozens of cattle and do deals with meat and cheese companies. Galloway cattle can even be kept as pets on large properties.

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In Conclusion

This impressive cattle breed is as old as they come. They can be raised for many different uses, and they can withstand harsh weather elements DUE to their thick double coats. They also happen to be gentle and interactive.

Featured Image Credit: Fred van Schaagen, Shutterstock