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The Irish Moiled is a rare cattle breed from Ireland. It is a dual-purpose breed, reared for both beef and milk. It originated in County Leitrim, County Sligo, County Down and County Donegal, but the breed is now found throughout Ireland.
The Irish Moiled Cow is one of the oldest breeds of cow in Ireland.
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The Irish Moiled Cow is one of the most distinctive breeds in Ireland. They are polled cows (they do not grow horns) and are generally red with a white line on the back and stomach. They are usually known to have a flecked face and are dual producers. Dual producing cows are used for beef but also dairies which is not common with most cows. These cows are slightly smaller than average, around 550 kg. It originated in County Leitrim, County Sligo, and County Donegal, but the breed is now found throughout in Ireland. The name Irish Moiled Cow originated from the term "Maol." This term is Gaelic meaning 'bald' and references the fact that these cows do not have horns. It is very distinctive how their head is shaped like a mound. These cows were also extremely endangered, and up until 1980 the decline was substantial. In the 1970s two breeders keept the Irish Moiled Cow as a dairy animal, introducing dairy bloodlines form the Jersey, Ayrshire, Shorthorn and Friesan . These breeders had only 20 female cows left and were struggling to keep the cows breeding. Today the statistics have improved greatly and are now being produced throughout Ireland, as well as in parts of Britain.
Irish Moiled meat is remarked to be of great quality and has a very recognisable flavor. This cow is known to produce a good beef in poor conditions but needs care to protect it from becoming overweight and making the beef too fatty. "We were told that the quality of Irish Moiled beef had, almost literally, saved the breed from extinction." As reported by a beef distributor, the turnaround for Irish Moiled beef has been reviewed to be of excellent quality by their customers.
The Irish Moiled cow has a gestation period of about nine months if kept at a decent health. It has also been experimented on and succeeded in the use of artificial insemination. They are a famous cow for possessing the capability to raise almost any breed of calf with little to no difficulty. They contain more than enough milk for their calves and never have a problem with starving udders. According to common belief they have an irregularly large stomach in order to consume more poor quality grass and moss. The Irish Moiled bull on the other hand has a very passive temperament according to ranchers that have had an experience with this bull. They are an ideal bull for grazing because they leave the stubs of grass in the ground in order for that grass to grow back more rapidly. One standout about this bull is that they are also "extremely hardy and alert at an early age".