This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at

Friday, September 04, 2009

Beltie Galloway Cows

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

If you write anything with a setting in Scotland, you might want to know about the Beltie Galloway Cows. (Cross-posted from my Carolina Scots-Irish Blog.)

I first heard of the Beltie Cow in Liz Curtis Higgs' book, My Heart's in the Lowlands. I was fascinated by the sketch in the book. Before I had even finished reading it, I noticed real Beltie Cows while driving home from Charleston, SC.
These cows are known to be from Scotland as Beltie Galloway Cows and have most recently earned the nickname of "Oreo Cows" in the US. They are typically black with a white belt around the middle. Some are brown with a white belt.

The white belt is a dominant trait in the herd and will often appear even if a Beltie Cow is crossbred with a different cow.
Their heritage allows them to survive in harsh climates having adapted to the poor upland pastures and windswept moorlands of Scotland, originating from Galloway. In 1997, western America suffered the "April Blizzard" resulting in great floods. As much as 21 feet of water resided in some places. While lots of animals, including horses and cows were lost, one breed withstood the flood, days without food, or rest from treading water--the Beltie Cows. Read the story here.

Their beef is exceptionally lean and flavorful. While most breeds of cows develop an extra layer of fat on their hide to protect them from the cold in winter, Beltie Cows grow an extra coat of hair rather than fat.

Here in North Carolina, you will find Beltie Cows at Fearrington Village, a quaint place settled on farmland dating back to 1770's in Chatham County, NC. This is an area of North Carolina that was surrounded by Scots-Irish immigrants and descendants for many generations. The small community is modeled after the villages of England. Fearrington Village offers a relaxing visit of dining, a beautiful country inn, shopping, historic gardens, and Beltie Cows.

For more information on Beltie Cows, visit the Belted Galloway Society of the United States.

The photos in this post are courtesy of Fearrington Village.


These cows are so adorable! I saw some for the firs time a few months back riding through North Georgia with some friends.


I live the oreo cow! How cute. Too bad they sound yummy too ;)

Jennifer, thanks for stopping by my blog. I would love to know how you found me. :) I can see I will be adding your blog to my list. I have to tell you that I love reading, genealogy, and have been to Scotland. The following is a comment I left on my blog for you but just in case you didn't see it I thought I would post it here too.
"Isn't that the truth! I can honestly say she did not get that particular phrase from me or my husband but I'm still more conscience of what I Do say now. :)"
Thanks again for stopping by. :)

Oh, these cows are also at Grant's Farm in St. Louis. I've seen them and have pictures. :)

Beautiful cows. Never thought I'd say that. Interesting post. :O)