Friday, September 4, 2009

The Beltie Galloway Cows

I first heard of the Beltie Cow in Liz Curtis Higgs' book, My Heart's in the Lowlands. I was fascinated by the sketch in the book. Before I had even finished reading it, I noticed real Beltie Cows while driving home from Charleston, SC. These cows are known to be from Scotland as Beltie Galloway Cows and have most recently earned the nickname of "Oreo Cows" in the US. They are typically black with a white belt around the middle. Some are brown with a white belt.

The white belt is a dominant trait in the herd and will often appear even if a Beltie Cow is crossbred with a different cow.
Their heritage allows them to survive in harsh climates having adapted to the poor upland pastures and windswept moorlands of Scotland, originating from Galloway. In 1997, western America suffered the "April Blizzard" resulting in great floods. As much as 21 feet of water resided in some places. While lots of animals, including horses and cows were lost, one breed withstood the flood, days without food, or rest from treading water--the Beltie Cows. Read the story here.

Their beef is exceptionally lean and flavorful. While most breeds of cows develop an extra layer of fat on their hide to protect them from the cold in winter, Beltie Cows grow an extra coat of hair rather than fat.


Here in North Carolina, you will find Beltie Cows at Fearrington Village, a quaint place settled on farmland dating back to 1770's in Chatham County, NC. This is an area of North Carolina that was surrounded by Scots-Irish immigrants and descendants for many generations. The small community is modeled after the villages of England. Fearrington Village offers a relaxing visit of dining, a beautiful country inn, shopping, historic gardens, and Beltie Cows.

For more information on Beltie Cows, visit the Belted Galloway Society of the United States.

The photos in this post are courtesy of Fearrington Village.
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1 comment:

  1. Hi my name is Ash. I've enjoyed looking over your blog posts. I found this post to be very educative for me. I'm glad you liked the photos on my wifes photo blog. The bridge you commented on is a unique design that I've only seen in the south. I know there is one in Jacksonville, Brunswick, Savannnah, and Charleston. I hope you'll have a look at our other blogs. Thank you and God Bless You!

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