Fun Holstein Friesian Cattle Facts For Kids

Devangana Rathore
Jan 05, 2023 By Devangana Rathore
Originally Published on Aug 19, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
There are so many fun Holstein Friesian cattle facts to know and learn about! How many of them did you already know?
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.5 Min

If you drink milk or coffee on a regular day, then you can thank the Holstein Friesian cattle for it! This species of cattle is known and coveted across the globe for its milk production. It is a beast of a cow, weighing upwards of 1000 lb (453.5 kg) even when normal-sized. Some of the biggest members of this species are definitely more fearsome than any predator you could come across in the wild. But while they are known for their size and production, they are also extremely gentle and welcoming towards humans. Since this species was created and engineered by humans, their demeanor is very laid back and calm. These cattle are also extremely expensive to purchase in international markets, with the price of just one purebred cow shooting past $700, easily. Despite this pricy tag, there are more than 150 nations in the world with at least some population of this cattle in their farms and barns.

Want to know more about the life and times of this gentle giant? Then all you have to do is scroll on further ahead! Are you curious about the other wonderful animals and birds that roam our Earth? Then dive deep into this adventure with the waterbuck and the Cape buffalo.

Holstein Friesian Cattle Interesting Facts

What type of animal are Holstein Friesian cattle?

These animals are a type of cow.

What class of animal do Holstein Friesian cattle belong to?

These dairy breeds belong to the class of mammals.

How many Holstein Friesian cattle are there in the world?

Approximately 10 million Holstein cattle have been registered. Holsteins have exceptional milk production due to their good udders. Every year, hundreds of new cattle join this population, which means that their population will always be in an upward trend.

Where do Holstein Friesian cattle live?

The Holsteins are the most prominent and largest dairy breed in the world, producing the most milk. The Holstein breed originated in the Dutch provinces of North Netherlands and West Friesland, in the country's northwestern part.

What is the Holstein Friesian cattle's habitat?

Holstein cattle live in manufactured farms. Since they are a man-made species, they are not naturally found in the wild. They are so large in size, that even if they were left in the wild, they do not have any natural defense mechanisms that might protect them from predators.

Who do Holstein Friesian cattle live with?

Holsteins are herd animals rather than lonely creatures. Holsteins are much more than dairy cattle - often used for beef production and leather production once they stop producing milk.

How long do Holstein Friesian cattle live?

Although some cows might live much longer, a Holstein cow's average productive life is about six years.

How do they reproduce?

The Holstein heifers should calve once every year, ideally. However, the cow must be coupled three months since her last calf was born due to the nine-month gestation period. Therefore, the cow continues to give milk for most of her pregnancy until she is dried off. This means the farmer ceases milking her approximately three months once she is expected to calve. This gives her time to recover and prepare for her next feeding.The lactation phase is roughly 305 days long. At birth, a healthy calf weighs between 75–110 lb (34-49.8 kg).

What is their conservation status?

This Holstein breed is the world's most popular cattle breed, with over 150 nations where you may find it. As a result, the IUCN Red Reflect does not evaluate the conservation status of these dairy breeders.

Holstein Friesian Cattle Fun Facts

What do Holstein Friesian cattle look like?

An adult Holstein cow weighs 1500–1700 lb (680.3–771.1 kg) at the shoulder and measures 58–65 in (147.3–165.1 cm) tall, with some reaching 3300 lb (1496.8 kg). The Holstein Friesian cattle characteristics are their massive size and their coat color designs of black with white or red and white spotty markings, which are vividly defined rather than merged. The presence of the red component causes this distinct color. Blue is another well-known color. White hair combined with black hair forms this color, providing the cow a bluish tinge. In some farming circles, this coloration is referred to as blue roan.

Holsteins are most prominent and largest dairy breed facts

How cute are they?

With its coat color (black with white or red and white) and pleasant expressions, this breed is quite cute, especially the offspring. But it's their gracious and friendly nature that is most admirable.

How do they communicate?

When conversing with one another, Holstein-Friesians produce low grunting sounds. Domestic animals frequently use these grants to request water and food! Friendly contact is defined as bobbing their heads, licking, playfighting, and mounting on one other. During mother-child interaction, calves can identify the low-frequency cries of the mother.

How big are Holstein Friesian cattle?

The Holstein-Friesian cattle size is between 4.83–5.41 ft (1.47–1.64 m). The Highland cattle length measures around 3-4 ft (1-1.2 m). When we compare the size of both breeds, no doubt black and white Holstein-Friesians are larger than Highland cattle.

‍How fast can Holstein Friesian cattle move?

When not surprised or pressed, a dairy cow move at a speed of 2 mph (3.2 kph). The black Angus is also slow due to its size. However, a much smaller common wombat may reach speeds of up to 24 mph (38.6 kph).

How much do Holstein Friesian cattle weigh?

A mature cattle Holsteincow weighs about 1500–1700 lb (680.3–7701.1 kg). At birth, a normal Holstein calf weighs at least 90 lb (40.82 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male Holsteins dairy cattle are termed bull while female dairy breeds are identified as heifers.

What would you call a baby Holstein Friesian cattle?

The baby breeds of Holsteins are widely known as calves.

What do they eat?

Dairy cows consume up to 100 lb (45.3 kg) of feeds each day, which are comprised of a well-balanced mix of grass, grains, mineral supplements, including protein-rich diets like soybean meal. A cow's diet is based on forage. This can be grazing grass in the spring and early summer or mowed grass (silage).

Are they poisonous?

These black and white dairy cattle breeds are recognized for high milk production. Since they form such an integral part of a regular milking cycle, it becomes apparent that they are not dangerous for anyone. The Holstein-Friesian breed is known for its friendliness.

Would they make a good pet?

For the excellent purpose of milking, Holsteins are the most valuable of the cattle breeds. This cow rules the dairy industry in production and number worldwide, from Europe to China through America. Their long lineage and specialized breeding allow them a commercially viable investment for dairy producers. The main purpose of a dairy cow breed is milk production. Top dairy farmers have been reported to generate over 72,000 lb (32658.6 kg) of milk in a year. Holsteins are domesticated, well-behaved animals that are easy to manage and maybe stabled without difficulty. They are also stain-resistant and have a herd mentality.

Notwithstanding their diminutive weight and size, the Nigerian dwarf goat can provide almost 1 gal (4.5 l) of milk per day. Their lactation lasts for a total of 305 days. They're well-known for their dairy production. These tiny nanny goats produce milk that is significantly higher in protein than that produced by ordinary goats. The amount of butterfat in the milk produced is also higher than other dairy goat breeds.

Did you know...

Holstein dairy cattle are popular because of their extraordinarily high standard milk production of 55.1-66.1 lb (25-30 kg) per day. Although other breeds have greater fat, solids, and protein percentages, Holstein's high milk production indicates that the amount of milk components is excellent.

The Holstein-Friesian breed is the leading dairy breed, and it provides the most milk, and it is the most desirable. In addition, the Holstein cow is the most useful and efficient breed in dairy cattle, having been raised in a mild, oceanic climate.

Price range: $700-1000 USD/Piece for a white purebred Holstein cattle cow.

A bunch of cattle is referred to as a herd, whereas a group of Highland cattle is known as a fold. In the winter, these highlands are housed in open stone shelters termed folds to safeguard animals from the cold.

The black and white animals of the Batavians and Friesians, migrating European tribes who landed in the Rhine Delta around 2000 years ago, were the initial stocks. They traveled throughout Germany, eventually settling in the Holstein province, which gave the breed its title.

How have Holstein Friesian cattle changed?

Over the years of genetic modification, the conformation of Holstein-Friesian dairy cows has evolved, resulting in taller, straighter, and slimmer cows. These cows are believed to have developed in the Netherlands some 2,000 years ago. To develop a new breed of cattle, breeders crossed white animals from the Friesians (modern-day Holland) and black animals from the Batavians (modern-day Germany).

Why do Holstein Friesian cattle produce the most milk?

The mammals that grazed in North Holland's rich polders helped choose cows with high genetic quality for milk output. So it's no wonder that a Holstein cow in Wisconsin established the national record for standard milk production with 77,480 lb (35144.3 kg) of milk in 365 days. Her record surpassed another Holstein cow, Bur-Wall Buckeye Gigi, also from Wisconsin, who had produced 74,650 lb (33860.6 kg) of milk during 365 days.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these water buffalo facts and ox facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Holstein friesian cattle coloring pages.

Holstein Friesian Cattle Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Soybean meal and dry hay

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

1500–1700 lb (680.3–7701.1 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

man-made farms

Where Do They Live?

north holland

How Long Were They?


How Tall Were They?

58–65 in (147.3–165.1 cm)







Scientific Name

Bos taurus taurus

What Do They Look Like?

Black and white

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

no threats

What is their Conservation Status?

Not Evaluated
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Written by Devangana Rathore

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana Rathore picture

Devangana RathoreBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana is a highly accomplished content writer and a deep thinker with a Master's degree in Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin. With a wealth of experience in copywriting, she has worked with The Career Coach in Dublin and is constantly looking to enhance her skills through online courses from some of the world's leading universities. Devangana has a strong background in computer science and is also an accomplished editor and social media manager. Her leadership skills were honed during her time as the literacy society president and student president at the University of Delhi.

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