We asked, and you answered. Virginia farmer Dr. Colette Loll wrote in to tell us all about keeping the Belted Galloway breed of cattle!
My passion for Belted Galloway cattle began after visiting the Fearrington House Inn in Pittsboro, North Carolina, with my family. We discovered their herd to be beautiful and surprisingly docile. So when we purchased a small farm in Virginia, we immediately thought of getting some Belties.
In addition to the visual impact of their broad, white stripes on our pastoral landscape, the small Belted Galloway herd serves as an essential partner in sustainable pasture management.
We rotate them through fields and allow the grass to recover between grazing, increasing biodiversity and creating healthier soil. They are a vital part of our conservation strategy because of their unselective grazing habits, which assist in improving our fields for many species of plant and wildlife.
Read more: Learn more about the Galloway cattle breeds!
Belted Galloway cattle have been designed by a long history of selective breeding and evolutionary pressure to be hard as nails. Their double coats help them easily endure cold and wet weather, so they don’t require indoor shelter. This was critical because we had not yet built a barn.
The breed is also known for easy outdoor calving, essential for new cattle owners. It was a relief to have a trouble-free first calving season!
As most Beltie owners likely discover, it’s difficult not to fall in love with these cows. Their gentle demeanor and overall friendliness allow us to interact with them frequently. It’s not unusual for us to be working in the garden and turn around to find ourselves surrounded by our Belties looking for an oat cookie.
Dr. Colette Loll, Brooke Hill Farm, Marshall, Virginia This article originally appeared in the March/April 2022 issue of Hobby Farms magazine.
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2022 issue of Hobby Farms magazine.