Telemark Cattle: Characteristics, Uses & Full Breed Information

The Telemark cattle are very beautiful and old breed of cattle. They were originated from Norway, and are Norway’s oldest breed of cattle which were standardized as a breed as early as 1856.

The breed is also known as Telemarkfe or Telemark cow. The Telemark cattle are actually dual purpose animals, and used for both of their milk and meat. They were first officially exhibited in Kviteseid, Norway.

And then they were long used in crossing with local mountain breeds. During that time the breed became well established throughout the southern and eastern Norway.

Traditional cattle breeds of Norway then suffered a major drop off in numbers, mainly due to high popularity of the Telemark cattle. However, the breed become rare in the 1980s.

And there were steps put into place for protecting rare breeds. There were 400 animals of the Telemark cattle breed in Norway in 2006. Read more information about this cattle breed below.

Telemark Cattle Characteristics

Telemark cattle are small to medium sized animals, and they usually don’t weight more than 500 kg. They are red in color, with a white color on the back in the shape of a cross. The cows are also white on the underside occasionally.

And most of the Telemark cattle’s face is usually mixed in color. The chest, udder, abdomen, legs and tail should be white. Both bulls and cows usually have horns. Average live body weight of the Telemark cattle is not more than 500 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
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These cattle are dual purpose animals. They are used for both meat and milk production.

Special Notes

The Telemark cattle are very hardy and active. They are well adapted and mainly found in the mountainous regions of southeastern Norway.

They are considered as good grazing animals, and their agility and smaller size helps them to utilize a large part of grazing land along dense scrub areas and rough terrain.

The cows are good milk yielder. They are also an efficient milk yielder on a high-roughage diet. Their meat is also of good quality. Review full breed profile of this cattle breed in the table below.

Telemark Cattle | Breed Profile

Breed Name Telemark
Other Name Telemarkfe or Telemark Cow
Breed Purpose Meat, Milk
Special Notes Hardy, Active
Breed Size Small to Medium


Bulls Not more than 500 kg
Cows Not more than 500 kg
Climate Tolerance All Climates
Coat Color Usually red with white
Horned Yes
Milk Yield Good
Rarity Rare
Country/Place of Origin Norway

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