Key Characteristics

Gloucesters are easily managed, amenable and respond well to individual care. Dehorning is allowed for herd management purposes. Cows calve easily, generally with no intervention required. Calves are usually strong and ready to go.

  • An elegantly beautiful animal of medium size with a long body.
  • They are a medium size, with cows 500-600kg and bulls 750-850kg.
  • Gloucesters are black brown in colour, with a distinctive white stripe along the back, a white tail and underbelly.
  • The head is black with a dark muzzle.
  • Horns are fine wide and inclined to turn up with black tips.


  • Gloucester Cattle are an ancient breed that has been common in the Severn Valley area since the 13th century.
  • They were originally a tripurpose breed, valued for their milk, beef and as draught oxen.
    Over the last two centuries however, the introduction of other breeds and the development of intensive farming, lead to such a reduction in numbers that by 1972 only one major herd remained. When this herd was dispersed, sufficient animals were saved to form the nucleus of animals recorded in the Herd book of the re-formed Gloucester Cattle Society. This was re-established with the assistance of the newly formed Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Since then, the decline in numbers has been reversed and there are currently some 700 female cattle in the herd book.


Cows generally produce about 3700 litres per lactation with some animals achieving up to 5000 litres. The lactation tends to be flat lasting almost 300 days with a butterfat of 3.9% and protein of 3.3% and a lactose of 4.6%. The milk is ideal for making cheese. 

The breed is able to produce a high quality meat product.

Did you know?

Gloucester milk with its small fat globules, is ideal for cheese making. Single Gloucester Cheese has an EU PDO meaning that it can legally only be made with milk from Gloucester cows.

Breed Societies

For more information visit the Gloucester Cattle Society