Ayrshire Cattle Graduate from Rare Breeds List
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Dairy Production on Pasture: An Introduction to Grass-Based and Seasonal Dairying
The Livestock Conservancy announced that Ayrshire cattle have graduated from its Conservation Priority List of endangered livestock and poultry breeds. The ranked list of rare breeds is based on the annual number of registrations in the United States and the breed’s estimated global population size. Today, more than 3,000 Ayrshire cows are registered each year in the United States, and 5,000 to 6,000 are born annually in the United Kingdom. Worldwide, the population of Ayrshire cattle well exceeds the 25,000 animals needed for graduation. The Livestock Conservancy credits dedicated Ayrshire breeders and partners like the U.S. Ayrshire Breeders Association and other global conservation organizations with helping make this graduation possible. They characterize Ayrshire cattle as an excellent choice for small dairies, family farms, and mixed-breed dairy herds, noting that they are productive dairying animals for grass-based operations.