Illawarra Cattle: Characteristics & Full Breed Information

The Illawarra cattle are a dual-purpose breed of cattle from Australia which are raised for milk and meat production. The breed was started by Australian dairymen.

They improved their herd by introducing the bloodlines of a number of superior dairy cattle breeds. Especially the Milking Shorthorn, Ayrshire and Devon cattle were used for creating this breed.

Name of the breed was abbreviated from the earlier Australian Illawarra Shorthorn. And it was named after Illawarra, New South Wales where they developed from original Shorthorn imports and other breeds.

Dairying became popular as an industry in Australia in the 1840s. And before that time the Illawarra cattle had mainly been used for producing beef. Currently the breed is available in many parts of the world.

Live animals and embryos have been exported to Central America, United Kingdom, Pakistan, United States, New Zealand, the Pacific Island, Canada, Korea, Japan, Indonesia and the Middle East. Read more information about the breed below.

Illawarra Cattle Characteristics

Illawarra cattle are medium to large animals with large frame. They are generally can be of rich, whole red, a rich red with a little white on the flanks or body or a full rich roan.

They are fairly light in the front but increasing in width and depth towards the hindquarters. Both bulls and cows are usually horned.

They have strong dark hooves and dark pigmentation. Udder of the cows should be capacious but not pendulous and well attached back and front. Photo and info from and Wikipedia.


Illawarra cattle are dual-purpose animals. They are kept for both milk and meat production.

Special Notes

The Illawarra cattle are hardy animals and they are well adapted to almost all climatic conditions. They are well adapted to the weather below 0 degrees Celsius and exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.

They usually don’t require much supplementary feeding, and can make the most out of feed. The animals are generally very docile and they are also noted for their longevity. They are very easy to handle.

The Illawarra cows are very good milkers and can produce large quantities of milk. Their milk is of high quality containing high protein and butterfat.

Average milk production of the cows is about 6733 liters, according to the 2010 Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Report with a butterfat content of 3.95 percent and 3.29 percent protein.

The breed is also good for meat production. Review full breed profile of the Illawarra cattle in the following chart.

Illawarra Cattle | Breed Profile

Breed Name Illawarra
Other Name None
Breed Purpose Milk and meat
Special Notes Hardy, docile, good milkers, good for meat
Breed Size Medium to large
Climate Tolerance All climates
Coat Color Predominantly red colored, with some whites or roans
Horned Yes
Milk Yield Excellent
Rarity Common
Country/Place of Origin Australia

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