PDCA - One Blog

Welcome to the first Dexter cattle blog to disseminate information for members of the Purebred Dexter Cattle Association of North America (PDCA) and for those with a curiosity about Irish Dexter cattle, cattle in general, as well as news from the PDCA. Expressions of opinion are to not be regarded as expressing the official opinion of the PDCA unless expressly stated. Hopefully you will find something here of interest and don't overlook browsing through the archives. Comments are welcomed.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Cattle in the Middle Ages

"Just how big were cattle in the Middle Ages anyway?"

To determine size, we look at two standards. The height to the top of the shoulder (aka the whithers), and/or the weight. This information will be given in the following manner: [female cm (in.); kg (lbs)/male cm (in.); kg (lbs)]

Postglacial Aurochs (Bos Primigenius)
[147 cm (57.9")/157 cm (61.8") or 150 cm/180 cm]
Neolithic Domestic (c2600 BCE)
[125 cm (49")]
Late Neolithic, Beaker, and Early Bronze Age (c1900 BCE)
[122 cm (48")]
Middle Bronze Age (1000 BCE)
[109 cm (43")]
Iron Age (300 BCE)
[107 cm (42")]
Romano-British (1st -4th C)
[112 cm (44")]
Anglo-Saxon & Scandinavian (7th-10th C)
[115 cm (45.3") or 104.6-121.4 cm (40.9"-47.8")]
Saxo-Norman and High Medieval (11th-13th C)
[110 cm (43.3") or 100-130 cm (39.4-51.2")]
Later Medieval (14th-15th C)
[109 cm (42.9")]
Tudor (late 15th-16th C)
[120 cm (47.2")]
18th C
[138 cm (54.3")]
Modern English Longhorn
[130-140 cm (51"-55")/150 cm (59")]
Modern Dexter
[91.4-106.7 cm (36"-42")/96.5-111.76 cm (38"-44")]

Greenlander (extinct)
[100-110 cm (39.4"-43.3")]

Therefore, in Britain, at least, cattle in the Middle Ages were smaller than the "average" modern cattle (I *think* 110 cm: 150 cm is about 73% and about 3.6").

PDCA - One Google