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Guernsey -heifer- Channel Islands

(most common name)
(transboundary/brand name)

(local/other name):
• Guernesey (Burundi)

Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands located in the English Channel — and — the Guernsey breed originated from cattle brought to the island in the 10th and 11th centuries by Norman monks.

The Guernsey is a dairy breed known for its rich milk. Guernsey foundation stock included the now extinct Alderney (or Norman Brindle) from Isigny and the Froment du Léon from Brittany.

The Guernsey was not recorded as a separate breed until the end of the 17th century. In 1789, imports of foreign cattle were prohibited and this protected the integrity of the population. (Although, during World War II a few cattle from Alderney were transferred to Guernsey, but these were absorbed into the population). In 1877, mainly to protect the island from diseases such as contagious bovine pleuropneumonia and tuberculosis, restrictions on the importation of cattle from England also began.

The coat color of purebred Guernseys is red or fawn and white.

Countries where Guernseys are found include:
• Australia (breed society 1905)
• Brazil (breed society 1941)
• Canada (breed society 1905)
• Egypt
• Ireland
• Kenya
• South Africa (breed society 1930)
• USA (breed society 1877)
• Zimbabwe

The first export to North America occurred about 1840. Large numbers were imported into North America in the early 20th century and there is a polled strain in the USA. Today, the largest Guernsey population is in the USA, followed by Britain and Canada.

This page was last updated on: 2023-10-13

You can also go to:

My Daily Cow® Channel Islands to read about other Channel Islands cattle breeds.

The Cow Wall® A-Z Cattle Breed Picture Reference to see other breeds of cattle in the world.