Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Shorthorn

Contributor(s): CABI, Vetstream Ltd, John Tulloch,

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Introduction

Image on the left shows a beef shorthorn and has been kindly provided by Elizabeth Alderson. The image to the right shows a dairy shorthorn and has been kindly provided by Tracy Anderton.
 
  • The Shorthorn is a dual purpose breed. However, it is often split in to two separate breeds, the Beef Shorthorn and the Dairy Shorthorn.
    • The Beef Shorthorn is variable in size owing to it's adaptation to different conditions in various countries, and to cross-breeding in most national populations.
    • The traditional Beef Shorthorn is a medium-sized, muscular animal with marked beef conformation.
    • The Dairy Shorthorn is medium-sized.

Biological Data

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Weight and Height

  • There is considerable variation within the Beef Shorthorn because of different breeding objectives in some countries, and the introduction of exotic genetics.
    • Traditional Beef Shorthorn bulls have an average adult weight of 800 kg and cows 500 kg.
    • The development of new types, often as a result of introgression by large breeds from continental Europe, has given weights of more than 1000 kg and 700 kg respectively for bulls and cows.
    • The modern type is also taller and longer, giving a wide range of physical characteristics for the whole breed.
  • The Dairy Shorthorn is larger-framed and less compact than the traditional Beef Shorthorn, but is smaller than the modern Beef Shorthorn derived in part from the Maine-Anjou.
    • The Blended Red-and-White hybrid type is taller than the traditional Dairy Shorthorn, and has a more extreme dairy conformation.
  • Body height female (mature): 123-140cm.
  • Body height male (mature): 132-146cm.
  • Body weight female (mature): 500-700kg.
  • Body weight male (mature): 800-1150kg.

Colors and distinguishing features

  • Colors are mainly red, white, red-and-white and roan, but there is discrimination against white in some populations.
  • In Brazil, only 4% are white, while 26% are roan, 37% red and 33% red-and-white. This reflects the global color frequencies.
  • There are horned and polled strains. The horns are short and curved when present.

Breed History and Information

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Societies

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Further Reading

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