Shorthorn cattle, breed of beef cattle developed from the native cattle of the Tees valley in NE England; formerly called Durham cattle. Systematic breeding of Shorthorns began in the latter part of the 18th cent. First imported to the United States in 1783, they are now found in every part of the country. Shorthorns are medium-sized with compact, low-set, rectangular bodies. In color they vary from red to white or any combination of these colors, with a predominance of roan. Because of their strength and good temperament, Shorthorns were occasionally used as draft animals. The Milking Shorthorn, a dairy breed developed in England from the Shorthorn, is appreciated for its adaptability to different climates, its efficient use of feed, and the superior protein-to-fat ratio of its milk. The genetically hornless Polled Shorthorns are about 60% of the beef Shorthorns registered in the United States.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Agriculture: Animals