Dairy cows are bred for their ability to produce milk from which dairy foods are made. While there are many different breeds of cows, in the U.S., there are seven different dairy cow breeds: Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn, Red & White.
Dairy farming has been part of agriculture for thousands of years. Dairy cows are bred specifically to produce large quantities of milk.
Dairy cows are required to give birth to one calf annually in order to produce milk for 10 months of the year. They are usually artificially inseminated within three months of giving birth.
DairyCows can often only produce very high milk yields for an average of 3 years, after which they are slaughtered and the meat is normally used for beef.