The Plush Cow and the Different Breeds

Published: 03rd December 2010
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Young children are very fond of soft toys in which they can easily recognize the animals they have first learned about - plush bunnies, stuffed pigs, and plush cows, for example. A plush cow is a terrific first-time stuffed animal for a child next to the teddy bear as it's an animal they are quite familiar with when it comes to how they look and sound.

Cows are the adult females of the cattle family. In the United States, there are three types of cattle: the dairy cow which is developed to produce milk, beef cattle which are raised for meat, and cattle that serve more than one purpose such as producing both milk and meat.

The body of a dairy cow is wedge-shaped with lean shoulders and thin legs. While their head and neck are small, their milk bag, or udder, is very large. Both wild cows and cows bred for beef can only supply enough milk for 6 to 10 months so as to feed a calf. Through the use of selective breeding, dairy cows have been developed so they are able to produce as much as 25,000 pounds of milk every year. The average yearly volume of milk produced by a cow in the U.S. is 14,500 pounds (one quart of milk weighs 2 pounds).

In North America, there are different breeds of cow, all of which get their names from their place of origin. The Holstein-Friesian is a large black and white cow originally hailing from the Friesland province of the Netherlands. In the U.S., it's the most common dairy breed, producing milk that has the lowest percentage of butterfat. An average Holstein-Friesian weighs about 1,500 pounds. The smaller Jersey cow breed is fawn and white or fawn colored; it's originally from the Isle of Jersey in the Channel Islands found off the coast of England. Unlike the Holstein-Friesian breed, the Jersey cows milk is high in butterfat and weighs on average about 1,000 pounds.

From the Isle of Guernsey, which is one of the Channel Islands, comes the Guernsey cow breed. It's fawn and white and produces milk that is yellowish in color and high in butterfat. This breed of cow weighs about 1,100 pounds. From Ayr, a county in Scotland, comes the Ayrshire cow. Red and white or mahogany and white in color, it has distinctive horns that curve upward. This breed produces large amounts of milk which is low in butterfat. Ayrshire cows weigh in at about 1,200 pounds.

From Switzerland comes the Brown Swiss cow; it's light brown or dark brown in color and produces large amounts of milk with moderate levels of butterfat. A Brown Swiss cow weighs in at 1,400 pounds. Other breeds of cow include the the Dutch Belted which is solid black in color and had a white stripe that circles its body between its fore and hind legs. Cattle mostly raised in Quebec, Canada, are the French Canadian cow, which are small and dark brown in color.

When choosing a plush cow to take home, enuring it's breed specific should never be a factor; its facial features are the first key to the attraction of a plush cow, closely followed by the feel of its 'fur.' Once that had been decided upon and it arrives at home, it will undoubtedly become the child's favorite soft toy.

Angeline Hope is a collector of plush giant toys. You can view a selection of plush giant toys including plush cow toys at MyBigPlush.

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