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Blue Grey is a type of beef cattle popular in Scotland and the north of England.
It is traditionally produced by crossing a whitebred shorthorn bull with black Galloway cows. The offspring gain beefiness from their sire and hardiness from their upland dams, and their colour is a blue roan which is regarded as attractive by many farmers.
Due to the genetic origin of roan colouration in cattle, this colour does not breed true. This is because roan is the result of incomplete dominance between white and solid colour. Roan is produced consistently only in the first-generation cross between these. On average only half of the offspring of two blue roan cattle will be blue roan themselves, with the other half being either solid white or solid black.
The Blue Grey cross became so popular that a special type of Shorthorn was developed to produce white Shorthorn bulls – the Whitebred Shorthorn.
They are well-suited for rough grazing land and will utilize coarse grasses other breeds would shun. They are able to maintain good condition on less than ideal pasture and do not graze so intensively as sheep.
- http://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/index/lookingafter/projectwork/limestonecountryproject.htm Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Limestone Country Project. Access date August 2011
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