The Guernsey cow

The Guernsey cow

The Guernsey is a breed of cattle which is commonly used in dairy farming. For centuries the Guernsey cow has been a pure breed. It is to be believed that the Guernsey cow was developed from two breeds which were brought over from France. It wasn’t until 1700 that the Guernsey was first recorded as a separate breed.

Properties of the Guernsey cow:

  • Gentle and adaptable character
  • Fawn and white skin
  • Small, light-coloured horns with darker points
  • The bull weighs on average 1700 pounds, the cow 1100 pounds
  • Unique digestion: the Guernsey cow does not digest or break down the carotene taken from the grass. The carotene is converted into beta-carotene (pro-vitamine A) by the cow. The beta-carotene passes into the milk and creates the wonderful golden colour. Click here to read more about this subject.
  • 95% of the Guernseys produce the beta casein A2 variant of milk (see fact-sheet A2 milk)

Small-scale agriculture

The channel island of Guernsey is a striking example of small-scale agriculture. On the island you will find about 1400 cows. The milk for the Guernsey butter is supplied by fifteen farmers who each has 93 cows on average. Read more about Guernsey agriculture.

The island of Guernsey

Guernsey is part of the island group called the Channel Islands and can be found at the same latitude as the French Normandy in the bay of St Malo. Guernsey is bathed by the Gulf Stream and has warm summers and mild winters, which allow the Guernsey cow to graze on the juicy grass almost the whole year round. Read more about the island.