The Holstein Breed

As the most widespread dairy breed in Canada, the Holstein represents over 90 per cent of the national herd. Holsteins are recognizable by their traditional black and white colour markings, but a special gene conferring red and white colouring is also present in the breed.

Holstein cows are known for their taller stature and are considered to be excellent milk producers, with an average annual milk yield of nearly 10 000 kg. With continually improving genetics, the Holstein breed has the demonstrated ability to adapt to diverse environments. The ideal breed for all types of dairy producers, the Holstein is synonymous with longevity and profitability.

Canada’s first Holstein cows were imported in 1881, from the United States and directly from the Netherlands, the birthplace of the Holstein-Friesian breed. In Quebec, these first Holsteins were acquired by T. B. Macauley, owner of Mount Victoria Farm (Montvic), in Hudson.

Visit the Holstein Canada Web page for more information about the Canadian dairy industry and the Holstein breed.