Ayrshire cattle (rˈshēr, –shər) [key], breed of dairy cattle originated in Scotland in the late 18th cent.; introduced into the United States in 1837. They are medium-sized and white mixed with red or brown in color. Ayrshires are excellent grazers and good, consistent milk producers. Ayrshires were formerly used as dual-purpose dairy and meat producers. Their importance as a breed has declined, especially in favor of the Holstein Friesian, but Ayrshires remain popular in North America, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe and South America.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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