With more than 1,000 breeds of cattle recognized in the world, it can be tough to differentiate between them all1. Therefore, we decided to highlight one of our favorite cattle breeds so you can get to know them better and learn how to differentiate them from other cattle breeds. Here’s what you should know.

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Quick Facts About the Irish Moiled Cattle Breed

irish moiled cattle in the field
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Breed Name:Irish Moiled
Place of Origin:Ireland
Uses:Dairy, meat
Bull (Male) Size:1,800 pounds
Cow (Female) Size:1,400 pounds
Color:Red with white markings
Lifespan:15–20 years
Climate Tolerance:Warm and cold climates
Care Level:Easy to moderate
Temperament:Gentle, friendly, social

Irish Moiled Cattle Origins

The Irish Moiled Cattle’s name was derived from the Gaelic word “maol,” which means hornless. This breed seems to have had a long history in Ireland. Writings and archeological excavations are indicating that this cattle breed has been around since prehistoric times2.

These cattle become notable in the 1800s, when selective breeding was largely in practiced and the best features of the Irish Moiled were established. These cattle mostly existed in Northern Ireland in the 1900s. As time went on, the goal became to turn this breed into a dual-purpose animal.

herd of irish moiled cattle
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Irish Moiled Cattle Characteristics

These cattle typically have well-balanced temperaments and gentle demeanors, which makes them easy to care for. They can be kept in small or large groups, but they need plenty of room to graze; otherwise, they require supplementation to accommodate their quick growth stages. They can handle both cold and warm temperatures and will even develop a thick winter coat to prepare for chilly weather.


The Irish Moiled cattle are bred as dual-purpose animals, which means they produce large quantities of milk and meat. Many people say that this cattle’s meat is rich and full of flavor, but it’s best when lean, so it’s important not to let these cattle become overweight. They produce plenty of milk too, which can be used to create butter and other dairy products.

irish moiled cattle standing in the field
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Appearance & Varieties

These strong cattle breed usually has red hair with white markings along the back, chest, and sometimes legs. They are considered medium-sized compared to other cattle breeds and have no horns. They have large, broad foreheads and thick legs. Their tails are long and thin. With huge chests and rounded bellies, these cattle are both robust and cuddly looking at the same time.

Population, Distribution & Habitat

Today, the Irish Moiled cattle live throughout Ireland and a few of the surrounding areas. This is a rare breed, so you won’t find many, if any, living in places like the United States. If any Irish Moiled cattle have been exported to other places, it has not been documented.

herd of irish moiled cattle in the field
Image Credit: Ballygally View Images, Shutterstock

Are Irish Moiled Cattle Good for Small-Scale Farming?

Yes, these cattle are perfect for those who want to maintain a small-scale farming operation. They can successfully be kept in groups of as few as two, with great production results. They’re also great options for large-scale farmers.

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In Conclusion

The Irish Moiled cattle is a beautiful animal with a gentle disposition and friendly attitude. They are great for farmers looking to produce dairy and/or meat, but they are rare and can typically only be sourced in Ireland. Therefore, you may have to admire this breed from afar.

Featured Image Credit: Ballygally View Images, Shutterstock