Gloucester Cattle: Characteristics, Uses & Breed Information

The Gloucester cattle are a multi-purpose breed of cattle which are raised for milk, meat and also for draft purposes.

The breed originated from Gloucestershire and surrounding areas in the West Country of England. It was valued for their milk production, but now also raised for meat.

The breed was also once valued for providing strong and docile draught oxen. Other cattle breeds of Gloucester type were numerous in the Cotswold Hills and the Severn Valley of England as early as the 13th century.

There was only one significant herd remaining by the 1972 and the breed was in danger of extinction.

The Gloucester Cattle Society was revived in 1973 and the breed has moved from near extinction to being rated by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust as being “At Risk”. And there are still fewer than 750 registered breeding cows. Read some more information about the breed below.

Gloucester Cattle Characteristics

Gloucester cattle are medium sized animals with relatively large body. They are usually a black brown in color with a white tail, belly and a white streak on the back.

The cows, calves and steers are dark brown in color and the bulls are almost black. The animals have a white finching stripe along the spine and continuing over the tail.

Both bulls and horns usually have horns. Their horns are fine, wide and turn upwards, normally well-developed and white in color with black tips. Their head and legs are black.

They have a dark muzzle with dark skin around the eyes and nose. The cows on average weight around 500 kg. And average live body weight of the mature bulls is around 750 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.


Gloucester cattle are multi-purpose animals. Previously the breed was used mainly for milk production. But currently it is also raised for meat production. The breed is also pretty good for draught purposes.

Special Notes

The Gloucester cattle are hardy and active animals. They are relatively docile in temperament and the bulls are very good for draught purposes.

They are amenable and respond well to individual care. The cows are very good milkers and their milk is well-suited for cheese making. Their milk contain high protein and high butterfat content.

The breed is also very good for producing a lean, quality carcass, with sufficient marbling of fat within the meat for giving excellent flavor.

The breed grow relatively slower but produce fine-grained marbled and great tasting beef. Review full breed profile of the Gloucester cattle in the following chart.

Gloucester Cattle | Breed Profile

Breed Name Gloucester
Other Name None
Breed Purpose Milk, meat and draught
Special Notes Very hardy, active, well adapted to native climates, good milkers, grow relatively slower, good quality meat, good for draught purposes
Breed Size Medium
Weight Bulls Around 750 kg
Cows Around 500 kg
Climate Tolerance Native climates
Coat Color Generally are a black brown color with a white tail, belly and a white streak on the back
Horned Yes
Milk Yield Good
Rarity Common
Country/Place of Origin England

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