Holstein Friesian cattle origin, characteristics & uses


The Holstein Friesian cattle is a breed of dairy cattle originating from the Dutch provinces of North Holland and Friesland. They are known as the world’s highest-production dairy animals. They are heavy in size with a large feeding capacity and well-developed udder.

Holstein Friesian cattle breed is the most widespread breed in the world. The Holstein Friesian is a dual-purpose breed. It serves both meat and milk production purposes. Usually, Holstein Friesian cows give milk 3 times per day. The Holstein cow gives an average of 25 Liters of milk per day by taking 50 kgs of food each day. This breed is present in more than 150 countries. In Europe, farmers rear the Holstein Friesian breed mainly for meat purposes.

The Holstein Friesian cattle are very beautiful in look. Their head is long, narrow, and straight with slightly rounded withers. They have distinctive markings, usually black and white or red and white patches all over the body.

Holstein Friesian cattle

The Holstein Friesians are medium in size. Typically a mature male weighs between 850 – 1000 kg and a female weighs between 575 – 650 kg. And a healthy calf weighs between 40 to 50 kg. They can adapt themselves to a wide variety of agro-climatic conditions.

 The breed is very popular mainly for its high milk production. This breed on average produces  6000 – 7500 liter of milk per lactation period, and the lactation period is of 305 days. Their milk contains 3.4 % of butterfat and about 3% protein. The mean gestation period of this breed is about 279 days.


Name of the breedHolstein Friesian
OriginHolland and Friesland
PurposeMainly for milk, but meat as well in some  parts
Average Male weight850 – 1000 kg
Average female weight575 – 650 kg
Coat colorGenerally black and white patched, but the red and white combination can also be seen
Climate toleranceCan tolerate all types of climate
Mean gestation period279 days
Average milk production6000 – 7500 lit./lactation period
Lactation period305 days
Fat butter content3.4%
Height1.5 – 1.8 m
BehaviorUsually, males are vicious and females are docile