Norwegian Red Cattle: Characteristics, Uses & Full Breed Information

The Norwegian Red cattle are a dual-purpose breed of domestic cattle which is raised for both milk and meat production. As the name suggests, the breed developed in Norway since 1970s.

It is mainly a dairy cattle breed that has been selected for a broad breeding objective, with increasing emphasis on functional traits like health and fertility.

The breed was developed through crosses of dairy cattle breeds with several Scandinavian breeds, including the Norwegian Red-and-White, Red Trondheim and the Red Polled Østland. Ayrshires, Friesians, Holsteins and Swedish Red-and-Whites etc. are some other cattle breeds which have been said to contribute to the gene pool.

The Norwegian Red cattle became the dominant breed in it’s native area, comprising 98 percent of the total cattle population. Seed/embryo of this breed is also frequently exported to North America for crossbreeding with Holstein cattle in the United States dairy industry.

Today the breed is available in more than 20 countries throughout the world, including Italy, Poland, United Kingdom and United States. Currently it is a popular Continental European breed.

Norwegian Red Cattle Characteristics

Norwegian Red cattle are medium to large sized animals with beautiful coloration. They do not express the external uniformity seen in true breed, although they are red or red-pied for the most part.

They are generally red and white, or black and white in coloration. The animals were originally horned. But through selective breeding, majority of the Norwegian Red cattle are now generally polled.
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Average height of the Norwegian Red cows is about 137 cm at the withers, and about 145 cm for the bulls. The cows on average weight about 600 kg.

The bulls are much larger than the cows. And average live body weight of the bulls is about 1300 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.


These animals are dual-purpose. They are used for both milk and meat production. But currently they are mainly being used for milk production.

Special Notes

The Norwegian Red cattle are known for their longevity and disease-resistance power. The cows are very good milk producers and they produce good quality milk. Their milk contain about 3.4 percent protein and about 4.2 percent of fat.

Average milk yield is up to 6000 kg per lactation. The breed is also very good for meat production. The males on average grow at the rate of 1.4 kg per day. However, review full breed profile of this breed in the following chart.

Norwegian Red Cattle | Breed Profile

Breed Name Norwegian Red
Other Name None
Breed Purpose Milk, Meat
Special Notes Good milkers, fast growers
Breed Size Medium to large
Weight Bulls About 1300 kg
Cows About 600 kg
Climate Tolerance All Climates
Coat Color Generally red and white or black and white
Horned Yes/Polled
Milk Yield Good
Rarity Common
Country/Place of Origin Norway

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