7 Most Popular Cattle Breeds to Raise in Colorado

7 Most Popular Cattle Breeds to Raise in Colorado

  • Leslie Howard
  • 03/11/22

Colorado’s eastern plains have an abundance of cropland, and agriculture is one of Colorado’s most essential industries. Statewide, ranchers raise cattle, chickens, hogs, and lamb. Additionally, Colorado has some of the best animal welfare practices and meat-processing technology in the country.

Given the ample space and top-tier animal welfare practices, raising cattle in the Centennial State is an excellent choice if you have the land requirements. Here are some of the most popular cattle breeds people raise in Colorado, whether they’re looking to establish a livestock or dairy farm.

Most popular cattle breeds to raise in Colorado

Aberdeen Angus

The Aberdeen Angus breed was developed in the early 19th century from the polled and predominantly black cattle of Northeast Scotland, known locally as “doddies” and “hummlies.” This breed is an excellent choice to raise since they are resistant to harsh weather, adaptable, low-maintenance, good-natured, and mature extremely early — providing a high carcass yield with nicely marbled meat.

The Aberdeen Angus breed is often used in crossbreeding to improve meat quality and milking ability. The Angus cow is renowned for her maternal instincts, with her calf requiring little assistance when birthed and possessing a strong instinct to get up and suckle within the first few moments of life. Angus cows can be productive for years, with 12 and 13-year-old Angus cows still able to bear calves. Undemanding, naturally polled, and providing exceptional, tender beef, it’s no wonder why Aberdeen Angus is the most prevalent beef-producing breed in the United States, especially in Colorado.


Originating in the old French provinces of Charolles, Nievre, and from west-central to southeastern France, the Charolais breed was first imported into the U.S. from a herd in Mexico in 1936. They are raised for beef production and crossbreeding with beef breeds and dairy cows. Charolais are medium to large framed beef cattle with deep and broad bodies. They are great for growth and uniformity, are agreeable in terms of temperament, and are able to fit into any system, whether it be grass-based or intensive. Additionally, they boast tremendous muscling and conformity, offer fantastic meat quality, and their meat marbling rivals that of Angus cattle.


The Hereford breed originated in the County of Herefordshire in the West Midlands of England. This breed is typically raised in cold, damp climates. Hereford's popularity has steadily increased over the last century thanks to its status as one of the more docile breeds and providing more marbled meat than Angus cattle. Herefords have an impressive list of statistics that make them an exceptional cattle breed to raise on your Colorado real estate. Benefits of raising Herefords include a greater weight for age and rate of gain either at pasture or yard feeding, early maturity and longevity, lower labor costs, lower wintering costs, a higher selling price for breeding stock, docility and ease of management, and a high percentage of calf crops.


Simmental is a cattle breed that dates back to the Middle Ages. This breed was created by crossbreeding large German cattle and a smaller breed indigenous to Switzerland. The name Simmental comes from the region where they were first bred: the Simme Valley in the Berner Oberland in

These cows boast a large frame with great musculature and vary in weight. Generations of selective breeding have created a highly adaptable, well-conformed breed with maximal beef and milk production. They do well in various conditions, from the smallest family farm to extensive ranching operations. Their mothering abilities are excellent, and they boast high, long-term fertility, are good-natured, and have excellent grazing ability.

Brown Swiss

Image courtesy of American Dairy Association North East
Most dairy historians agree that Brown Swiss is the oldest dairy breed. These beautiful brown cows were developed in the northeastern region of Switzerland and are raised for both dairy and beef purposes due to their excellent output. Dairy producers around the globe are adding Brown Swiss to their herds because of their fantastic milk, protein, and butterfat production. Cheesemakers also adore the milk produced from these cows for its rich and nearly equal protein/fat ratio.

Brown Swiss cattle have few problems, boast excellent longevity, and tend to reach their peak in fifth or later lactations. These sought-after cattle generally improve the production and strength of the parent breed when crossed with other dairy and beef breeds.


Frequently when people think of dairy cows, Holsteins are the breed that comes to mind due to their distinctive color markings. While Holsteins originated in Europe, they are currently raised worldwide. Holsteins have the highest milk production in the world partly due to their unrivaled genetically anchored achievement ability. Reaching a one to two percent genetic improvement per year is realistic for this breed.

They produce vigorous calves that grow rapidly, reach early maturity, and are easy to care for. Resistant to stress, having mild temperaments, and being easy to manage, this breed is extremely easy to raise. While they produce large quantities of high-quality milk, they also contribute to the meat supply worldwide, producing excellent meat and exceptional veal when cross-bred with other breeds.


Image courtesy of Britannica
Although considerable research has been conducted to find the origin of Jersey cows, results are inconclusive. However, after much analysis, it appears that the domesticated forefather of the Jersey came from Asia. These efficient milk-producing cattle are cost-effective, producing a pound of milk components at a lower cost than other dairy breeds.

Jerseys have minimal calving issues, greater fertility, and early maturity. Jersey milk is highly coveted for its unique qualities, including providing 18% more protein, 20% more calcium, and 25% more butterfat than “average” milk. Exceptional milk commanding a premium price, good temperament, and performing well under a broad range of systems make Jerseys a wonderful cattle breed.

Find the perfect place for your Colorado cattle

Are you looking for a sprawling property in which to raise cattle? Contact the Colorado real estate professionals of the The Howard Collection today. A Conifer native, Leslie will lead you to the luxury Conifer Real Estate or Morrison Real Estate of your dreams.

Work With Leslie

With her knowledge of the community, excellent communication skills, and resilience to get the job done Leslie is well on her way to a long-term, successful relationship with real estate.