Home > Cattle > Belgian Blue Cattle

Published on 20th May 2022 by staff

Belgian Blue Cattle

Belgian Blue Cattle

The Belgian Blue cattle were developed via selective breeding. As its name suggests, it originated in Belgium, when farmers successfully isolated a genetic trait that led to increased muscle fibers. However, despite their massive build, they are small-boned and thin-skinned. Due to their increased muscle, they also have a unique way of walking.

Also Known AsRace de la Moyenne et Haute Belgique, Dikbil, Belgian Blue-White, Belgian White, Blue Pied, Belgian White Blue, Blue, and Blue Belgian
Physical CharacteristicsVery muscular and lean due to an increased number of muscular fibers 
Coat ColorUsually black to white, though upon close inspection it would appear that the darker portions are bluish grey.
WeightMale: 1100-1250 kg Female: 850-900 kg
Height145-150 cm
UsesBeef, dairy
DietProtein-rich foods
Lactation Period50-200 days
Gestation Period281-283 days
Lifespan20 years
Climate ToleranceMedium
Price$360 to $2000
Country of OriginBelgium
Standard and Qualification InformationThe International Association of Belgian Blue Cattle Breeders (BBI)

History and Development

The origin of the Belgian blue cattle was traced to central and upper regions of Belgium in the 19th century developed by breeding local cattle with Shorthorn cattle from the UK and Charolais cattle as well.

Belgian Blue Cattle Image
Belgian Blue Cattle Photo

Initially, the Belgian blue cattle were first used as a dual-purpose breed. In the 1950s, Professor Hanset, while working at an artificial insemination center in Li├Ęge Province, developed the modern breed primarily reared for its beef. He maintained the breed’s characteristic gene mutation by linebreeding until it became a common trait.

In 1978, Nick Tutt, a farmer from central Canada, immigrated to West Texas and introduced the Belgian Blue cattle to the United States by showing the breed to the universities around that region.

Milk Production

The cows produce about 3900 litres of milk per lactation. Their milk is average, containing 3.48 % fat and 3.23 % protein.

Female Belgian Blue Cattle
Baby Belgian Blue Cattle

Meat Production

The Belgian Blue cattle are known for their lean meat, which is a result of its mutated myostatin gene. They gain weight well and can have 40% or more additional edible muscle mass.

Blue Belgian Cattle
Belgian Blue Cattle Picture

Interesting Facts

  • Due to their massive bulk, these cattle suffer while birthing. It is quite common for breeders to arrange for a C-section to ensure safe deliveries so that both the cow and her young survive the process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join our subscribers' list to get the latest news, and updates delivered directly in your inbox.