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Dutch Black Pied HF - cow - The Netherlands

Dutch Black Pied (HF)
(local/other name in English)

(most common name):
Holstein Friesian (zwartbont)
(transboundary/brand name):
• Holstein (black and white)
(local/other name):
• HF-Zwartbont
• Zwartbont (HF)
(historical breed name):
• Black Pied Dutch
• Black-and-White Holland
• Dutch Friesian
• Dutch Lowland
• Holland
• Netherlands Black Pied
• West Friesian

The Dutch Black Pied (HF) did not always look the way it does today.

Originally, cattle of Friesland and Holland were mostly red (with or without white markings). From the late 1500s, they acquired all kinds of colors and patterns; red, fawn, and also black and blue animals with white-headed and white-backed patterns were most plentiful.

Each spring in the early 17th century, Friesland dairy cattle were stabled in Holland for milking. Their ability to produce great quantities of milk made them famous. Herds of skinny cattle were also driven in from Jutland (of Denmark) and Schleswig-Holstein (of Germany) to meet the additional demand for beef.

Great numbers of Friesian cattle died during the cattle plagues of the 18th century. Northwest German runts and black pied Jutland cattle were then used selectively to help restore the national Dutch herd.

Although the color of these cattle had no relation to their milk production, some breeders did believe that the black and black pied cows produced the best milk. They thought that the white cows, though good yielders, produced milk of a lower quality.

HF = Holstein Friesian

This page was last updated on: 2020-04-24

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My Daily Cow® The Netherlands and read about other Dutch cattle breeds.

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