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Belted Galloway Cattle
Developed in the 16th century, the Belted Galloway (a heritage beef breed), is polled (hornless). The breed originated in Galloway, southwestern Scotland and imported into North America beginning in the early 1940's. They are also known as "Belties" and sometimes called "Oreo" Cows. Belties are Black, Red, or Dun and normally the same color on each end, with a white belt around the middle. The Belted Galloway Society in the United States was founded in 1951.
The Belted Galloways’ heritage has conditioned them to survive in harsh climates. Belted Galloway Beef has been shown in a research study conducted at the University of Guelph, Ontario Canada, to have a total fat content of about 2%, an extremely low percentage. The same study showed that the Belted Galloway Beef tested, only contained about 1% saturated fat. In addition, it showed that Belted Galloway beef had the same fat content as chicken and fish, so fits in well with a healthy diet. Belted Galloway beef is exceptionally tender, fine textured, well marbled, full of flavour, juicy and the winners of the 2003 Sydney Royal Show "Beef Taste Test".
Winter warmth is provided by a double coat of hair (woolie under coat shed in the summer), instead of the thick layer of backfat most breeds require. With their double hair coat, Belties need less feed than other breeds to maintain their body heat in winter. Another bonus provided by the double hair coat is, it is able to shed water. Even in very cold weather, the rain hardly penetrates their coat. From summer heat, to winter cold, Belties can thrive all year long with minimal shelter.
Belted Galloways tend to be very docile, which means they’re easy to handle and care for. They exhibit terrific foraging ability. A Danish study found that compared to other breeds, the Galloway consumed many more different types of flora. Since they eat flora passed over by other cattle breeds, they can flourish even with less than ideal conditions.
Belted Galloways are medium in size, with cows weighing up to 1,300 pounds and bulls up to 2,000 pounds. At birth, bull calves weigh 70 to 80 pounds and heifer calves 60 to 70 pounds. Genetically, Belties are known for their longevity and hardiness, are resistant to disease, have high fertility rates and calving is easy for them. They exhibit great mothering abilities and are very protective of their calves against predators.
Consumer Benefits of Grass Fed Beef
Lower in total fat
Higher in beta-carotene
Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
Higher in total omega-3s
A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
Higher in conjugated linoleic acid or CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)
Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease
Lower Fat – Meat from grass-fed cattle is much lower in fat, and therefore lower in calories. A 6-ounce steak from a grass-finished animal has almost 100 fewer calories than the same sized-piece from a grain-fed animal. If, like the average American, you eat about 67 pounds of beef a year, switch to grass-fed beef and you’ll save nearly 18,000 calories a year.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Omega-3 fatty acids are fats that are essential to human health. Sixty percent of the fatty acids in grass is omega-3, which is formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves. Grass-fed cattle can contain as much as two-to-four times more omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed animals.
At the same time, a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids has been linked with an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, allergies, depression, obesity, and autoimmune disorders. A ratio of four to one or lower is considered ideal, Grain-fed beef has a much higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids than wild game or grass-fed beef. In grass-fed beef the ratio is approximately 2 to 1, while the ratio in grain-fed beef is more than 14 to 1.
More Vitamins – In humans, vitamin E is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Meat from grass-fed cattle is higher in vitamin E, as much as four times higher in vitamin E than meat from feedlot cattle.
Rich source of CLA – Meat from grass-fed animals is the richest known source of “conjugated linoleic acid” or CLA. Grass-fed cattle have been found to produce 2 to 5 times more CLA than cattle fed high grain feedlot diets. In laboratory animals, a diet containing even a small amount of CLA greatly reduced cancerous growths.
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Additional photos and information about the breed will be posted soon. Please check back.
This page updated 17 June 2019 @ 0835 Mountain
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