20 Black And White Cow Breeds (The Ultimate Guide)

Black and white cows are not as common as the brown or brown and white ones. However, cattle sporting these coat colors are still easy to spot in most countries.

Here is a list of 20 black and white cow breeds you can see around the world*:

  1. Belgian Blue
  2. Randall
  3. Guzerá
  4. Albera
  5. Normande
  6. Belted Galloway
  7. Texas Longhorn
  8. Blue Grey 
  9. Lakenvelder 
  10. Canadian Speckle Park
  11. American Brahman 
  12. Miniature Zebu
  13. Bretonne Pie Noir
  14. Corriente
  15. Holstein-Friesian
  16. British White
  17. Dhanni
  18. Gloucester
  19. Cholistani
  20. Girolando

*This is not an exhaustive list. The cattle breeds above are not ranked in any particular order.

1. Belgian Blue

  • Origin: Belgium
  • Bred for: Beef

A cow breed originated in Belgium, the Belgian Blue is a type of beef livestock known for its ultra-muscular body.

While they have an intimidating appearance, these cows have a quiet temperament and are docile.

The breed resulted from crossing local Belgian cows with Shorthorn cattle imported from England. Despite the red coloration of the Shorthorn and the red genes of local red-pied, modern Belgian Blue colors vary from white to roan to black – or a combination of them, including black and white.

Belgian Blue cows were originally selected for both milk and beef, but they are now primarily selected for beef. This makes them one of the most widespread black and white beef cow breeds in the world.


2. Randall

  • Origin: USA
  • Bred for: Draft

Originated in Sunderland, Vermont, the Randall or Randall Lineback is one of the rarest black and white cow breeds worldwide.

These endangered domestic cows are named Lineback for the color-sided black pattern with a white stripe on the back.

Historically raised for milk, beef, or to use as draft oxen, Randalls are now mostly kept for show or raised in hobby farms

Randall cattle are very docile, quick-to-train animals. They also enjoy robust health, but beef quality can vary between different family lines. This is likely the reason why they haven’t been raised as beef cows.

The cows haven’t been selected for milk production either, at least not in the last three decades. Nevertheless, they excel at draft power and most Randall calves are now trained for work.


3. Guzerá

  • Origin: Brazil
  • Bred for: Beef and milk

Guzerá – also called Guzerat – is a type of Brazilian cattle breed not to confound with the Indian Guzerat which is a grey type of cow.

The Brazilian ones are the result of cross-breeding between Indian Kankrej cattle imported to Brazil in 1870 and the local Crioulo breed of European origin.

What resulted is a dual-purpose breed raised for both meat and milk. But that’s not all, as this is also one of the most fascinating breeds of black and white cows with horns.

The coloration is a gray-black on the upper side with off-white undersides. These cows have black faces as well as black markings on the legs. The lyre-shaped horns are very large and silver-black in color, their hue blending perfectly with the coat color.


4. Albera

  • Origin: Spain
  • Bred for: Beef

Raised mainly for meat, the Albera is a Spanish black and white cow breed originated in the Catalonia region. Like the Randall, it is a rare cattle type currently considered endangered.

However, Albera cows can still be found in the Albera massif region as well as the French Pyrenees near the border between Spain and France.

Albera cows have been initially divided into three sub-breeds, but only two of these still exist. The Fagina type has a light coat color with reddish undertones. The Negra type is almost entirely black with the exception of the ears and muzzle, which are white.

These cows are very well adapted to steep terrains and are highly resistant to cold.


5. Normande

  • Origin: France
  • Bred for: Milk

Moving from Spain to France, the Normande cows are among the most popular types grown in north-west France.

They are primarily bred for their milk, which is rich in fat and protein and perfect for the production of butter, cheese, and other dairy products. However, these cows also have marbled and good-flavored meat.

A difference between these cows and other cattle breeds is the variety of accepted colorations. While they are all piebald, accepted hues include red, reddish-black, dark brown, and black.

In the black piebald coloration, they are one of the black and white cow breeds in France.


6. Belted Galloway

  • Origin: Scotland
  • Bred for: Beef

A type of black cow with a white stripe around the middle, the Belted Galloway is one of the most common beef cattle in Scotland, but otherwise rare around the world.

The modern breed was developed during the 18th and 19th centuries from the selection of native cattle in southwestern Scotland. Their appearance is somewhat similar to the popular Highland cattle, even though Belted Galloways don’t have horns.

Nevertheless, they have curly medium-length fur. Like the Albera cows, Belted Galloways are adapted to cold, rugged climates.

While they are very docile, these cows have strong maternal instincts and don’t shy away when it comes to protecting their calves from predators.


7. Texas Longhorn

  • Origin: USA
  • Bred for: Beef

Hardy, aggressive, and adaptable, Texas Longhorn cattle are one of the few American black and white cow breeds that were shaped exclusively by nature.

As one can imagine, the breed name is owed to their very long horns, which are an adaptation to survival in hostile environments.

The breed evolved on its own, and became nearly extinct in the first half of the twentieth century.

In 1964, the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America was established to save these cows from extinction. Nevertheless, their numbers are still low – about 100,000 individuals.

Today, these cows are pasture-raised for beef, their lean, natural meat offering more nutrition per calorie compared to other American beef breeds.

Similar to other cow breeds, Texas Longhorns aren’t necessarily black and white, but this is a common color combination. In fact, the cow holding the Guinness World Record for the longest horns is a black and white (with red splashes) Texas Longhorn.


8. Blue Grey

  • Origin: Scotland/England
  • Bred for: Beef

Known for its long grey mottled hair, the Blue Grey cattle are typically raised as suckler cows for their meat.

The Scottish black and white cow breed originated in the early 19th century. It is currently found in southwest Scotland and northwest England, but almost unknown to the rest of the world.

That’s because, like other black and white cattle on this list, the breed is nearly extinct.

The grey blue coloration (essentially a mix of white and solid or diluted black) is given by the cross-breeding between black Galloway cows and white Shorthorn bulls from England.

Interestingly, all Blue Grey cows are the result of cross-breeding between the two species. This means that there are no purebred individuals.

Since the Shorthorn cattle are critically endangered, it is easy to understand why Blue Grey cattle are endangered, too.


9. Lakenvelder

  • Origin: Netherlands
  • Bred for: Milk

With a coat pattern almost identical to Belted Galloway, the Lakenvelder cattle are among the most popular Dutch black and white cows.

Despite their color and home range, they are quite easy to tell apart from the Scottish breed, though.

In fact, Lakenvelder cows have a short, smooth coat that looks almost velvety. Another essential difference is the presence of short horns.

Lakenvelder cows are mainly used for the production of milk, even though they can double as a dual-purpose breed for the production of meat.

Similar to Belted Galloways, Lakenvelder cows are almost entirely black except for a thick white belt that crosses their middle section.

Other cows with a similar color pattern include the Dutch Belted cattle, which is actually an American breed, and panda cows, which are miniature belted cows with a white face.


10. Canadian Speckle Park

  • Origin: Canada
  • Bred for: Beef

A modern Canadian black and white beef cattle breed, the Speckle Park originated in the Saskatchewan province in 1959. It is primarily bred for meat and, like the Belgian Blue, has a well-defined, muscular body.

These cows are famous for their spectacular color patterns. The classic speckled pattern consists of black sides with a blotched white top line and white undersides. The head is typically roan or black and light grey.

Other patterns are also accepted, as long as the pigment is located in the right places for sun and snow.

Due to the harsh weather in their native range, these cattle have been developed to produce consistent marbled carcasses on very basic food stuff.

For this reason, they are now bred in many areas around the world, including Ireland, England, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

Speckle Park cows have a British genetic base. They primarily derive from black Angus, Teeswater Shorthorn, and a white bull with colored points.


11. American Brahman

  • Origin: USA
  • Bred for: Breeding

A cattle variety originated in India, the modern American Brahman was developed in the USA in the early 19th century.

These cows were initially raised as beef cattle, but cross-breeding with European-imported types like the black Angus or the Charolais resulted in exquisite flavor. Hence, American Brahmans are now mainly raised for breeding rather than slaughter.

Very similar in appearance to native Indian cows, American Brahmans have a peculiar appearance characterized by a pronounced dewlap in the neck area.

These cows have a mostly white-grey body with black on the head, face, and chest. The legs are typically black, even if other color placements are also accepted.

Besides breeding, they are one of the black and white cows for show and exhibitions in America.


12. Miniature Zebu

  • Origin: USA
  • Bred for: Multipurpose

Looking like a miniature Brahmans – despite being a completely different breed – the miniature Zebu is a type of small black and white cows now mostly kept as pets.

Nevertheless, they also have flavored meat and produce fat-rich milk, which is why they are raised for beef or dairy in some parts of the world.

Similar to the Brahmans, the miniature Zebu has Indian origins and is characterized by a prominent dorsal hump. Color-wise, the miniature Zebu is almost identical to the Brahman.


13. Bretonne Pie Noir

  • Origin: France
  • Bred for: Milk

Another type of small black and white dairy cattle is the Bretonne Pie Noir. The breed is native to the Brittany region in northwest France, even though it can be found in numerous other areas across the country.

Originally, the breed presented multiple colorations, including red and red and white coats. These hues disappeared due to selective breeding, though.

Size-wise, Bretonne Pie Noirs aren’t much larger than the miniature Zebus. However, they are particularly adapted to exploring poor and marginal terrain.

This characteristic makes the breed suited not only for the Breton agriculture but also to raise as dairy cattle in other hostile landscapes.

Today, Bretonne Pie Noir cows are the smallest cattle in France.


14. Corriente

  • Origin: Spain
  • Bred for: Sport cattle

Very similar in appearance to Albera Negra cows, the Corriente is a breed originated in Spain but now mostly found in the Americas.

Initially, the cows were bred for milk, meat, and draft. While some farmers may still breed them for these purposes, nowadays they are mainly raised for sports. In fact, the iconic black rodeo bulls with white muzzles are typically Corriente.

It should be said that these cows are known with different names in different parts of South America.

In some countries, they are known as Criollo, while farmers in Baja California and throughout Mexico typically call them Chinampo.

Similar but unrelated breeds in North America include Scrub and Cracker cattle in Florida and Swamp cattle in Louisiana.


15. Holstein-Friesian

  • Origin: Netherlands/Germany
  • Bred for: Milk

Perhaps the most recognized type of dairy cattle in the US, these big black and white cows are easy to tell apart from other similar breeds thanks to their massive size.

However, these cows haven’t always been black and white. Originally, Holstein-Friesian cows were either black and white or red and white. Selective breeding developed after 1750, when farmers started to use exclusively white and black bulls for siring.

Nevertheless, the red color gene is still present in the cattle genome, which explains why red or red and white Holstein-Friesian calves are still born.

Originated in Germany and the Netherlands, Holstein-Friesian cows are now bred worldwide for their milk. Their meat is often used for ground or minced beef.


16. British White

  • Origin: England
  • Bred for: Beef

Originated in England, British White cattle are one of the most robust breeds of black and white beef cows. Not only can they outwinter in most conditions, but they are also extremely heat-tolerant.

This makes them a preferred breed for the beef industry in their home range. British White cows are seldom seen outside of their native territory, mainly due to the rarity of the breed – this is one of the breeds listed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

Appearance-wise, they seem to be the negative copy of the Corriente cows – they are almost entirely white with the exception of black ears, black muzzles, and black markings on the lower parts of the legs. Some may have black on the head as well.


17. Dhanni

  • Origin: Pakistan
  • Bred for: Draft

Like most cow breeds originated in South Asia and India, Dhanni are black and white cows with a hump that helps them survive the dry, arid conditions.

However, the hump and overall appearance is the only thing common these breeds – including popular American Brahman and the miniature Zebu have.

Color-wise, these spotted cows are more similar to Holstein-Friesians. They are mostly white with random splashes of color on their coats.

Black and white isn’t the only possible coloration either, even though it is the most common. Nevertheless, red and white is also possible.

Dhanni cows are typically bred for work. Their milk yield is low and the meat is leaner compared to beef breeds. However, multipurpose breeding is often common in their native range.


18. Gloucester

  • Origin: England
  • Bred for: Beef and milk

As its name suggests, the Gloucester cattle breed originated in England, in Gloucestershire. One of the few dual-purpose black and white cow breeds in Britain, these cows are raised both for their meat and milk, which is mostly used in the cheese making industry.

This ancient breed was developed in the 13th century and was originally used for its milk. Over the centuries, it has earned its dual-purpose reputation.

Despite its exquisite meat and rich milk, this is one of the rarest cow breeds in the world.

Appearance-wise, Gloucester cattle are robust animals. They come in a variety of color combinations, including black and white. Other common hues include red, chestnut brown, and brown, black and white.

In bi- and tri-colored animals, the head and sides are typically dark with white undersides and a white stripe stretching from the neck over the back and to the tip of the tail.


19. Cholistani

  • Origin: India and Pakistan
  • Bred for: Multipurpose

Another type of black and white humped cow, the Cholistani breed originates in India and Pakistan and looks very much like the Zebu and American Brahmans.

However, they are closer in appearance to the Dhanni cows of Pakistan.

Their coats are often white with splashes of red or black. Mostly red or grey-black colorations are also common and accepted.

Like most South Asian cows, Cholistani cattle are extremely drought-tolerant and are used for multiple purposes, including meat, milk, and draft.


20. Girolando

  • Origin: Brazil
  • Bred for: Milk

One of the newest black and white cow breeds in the world, the Girolando cattle have been developed in Brazil and introduced in 2004.

The breed is essentially a crossing between Holstein milk cows and the Asian Zebu Gyr. Cattle retain their heat tolerance from the Indian breed and the milk production capacity of the Holsteins. However, their appearance lacks the characteristic hump.

These cows generally have black mantles as well as black heads and legs. The belly is white with splashes of black, but the white can stretch upper on the shoulders or flanks.

Characterized by incredibly elastic udders, these dairy cows have an incredible milk yield. Apart from Brazil, they are now bred in numerous areas around the world.

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