Everything You Need to Know About the Guernsey Cow

Posted by Allie Layos

With its golden-colored milk, the Guernsey cow is a standout.

The Guernsey cow was bred on the British Channel Island of Guernsey, and was first recorded as a separate breed around 1700. It is known for its rich, golden-colored milk, which is high in beta carotene, as well as its hardiness, longevity, and docile disposition.

The Guernsey, sometimes confused with the Jersey breed, has been a favorite in American agriculture for many years because it is an efficient milk producer with a low incidence of calving difficulty. However, the breed has fallen into decline in recent decades.

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General Appearance

Guernsey cattle typically weigh 1,400 pounds, with bulls weighing 2,000. They stand about 54 inches high, which is small for domestic cattle.


The Guernsey has a barrel-like chest, small feet, and an overall symmetrical build. Their inner ears are yellowish, which some believe is a reflection of their golden colored milk.


The Guersney color was officially determined in 1883 and has remained consistent ever since. Purebred Guernseys are red or fawn colored, and may have white markings. They may also have a white tail and underside, a cream-colored muzzle and amber feet.


Guernsey cattle typically have short, curved horns, but some Guernseys were developed "polled," or born without horns.


Though Guernsey cows are known for their docile and quiet dispositions, the bulls can be surprisingly aggressive.


Inbreeding is becoming a concern for Guernseys due to the small gene pool of given areas. In most cases it can be solved by exchanging cows from other farms.

Body image: Blogspot/Keeping The Farm

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Everything You Need to Know About the Guernsey Cow