Blackburn Grafter is the latest pedigree bull to join the welters® herd. This impressive animal is a Whitebred Shorthorn and was bred in the Newcastleton area of Scotland and acquired in the latter part of 2018. His acquisition is part of a new bulling program to breed with black Galloway heifers to produce Blue Grey cattle within the Heritage herds.
Similarly to Galloways, the Whitebred Shorthorn is particularly suited to the grasslands around the borders between England and Scotland. Originally called the Cumberland White, the breed has been developed to provide bulls specifically for crossing with black Galloway cattle to produce the popular Blue Grey. Unfortunately, since the introduction of continental beef breeds in the 1970’s, their numbers have declined dramatically and it is now one of the rarest breeds of cattle in the UK.
The Blue Grey cattle produced by the cross breeding is a 1st generation hybrid and although recognised as a breed, are not usually able to sustain the blue grey colour into the 2nd generation. In order for the breed to be preserved, the Whitebred Shorthorn and the black Galloway must be maintained separately.
The addition of Blackburn Grafter is central to welters® Blue Grey cattle breeding ambitions and forms part of their Species Protection programme, which endeavours to protect, maintain and safeguard rare livestock breeds indigenous to the Borderlands.