The Dutch Belt Heritage

A Herd of Buelingo cows in deep green grass is a beautiful sight to behold.

The curlicue horn shape of a Texas Longhorn cow and the polka dotted pattern of an Appaloosa horse create a unique calling card. Even more extreme but less known is the big white belt encircling the midsection of every BueLingo cow. This Dutch beef breed can have black, red, gray or gold coats, yet each one has a complete full circle white belt that wraps totally around the mid section. Normally no other white markings are visible.

The BueLingo Cattle Society, formed in 1989, is the official registry for this eye catching critter. Although few are aware of this relatively young composite breed, it's sketchily recorded history is truly ancient in origin.

Dutch Belted cattle originated in Holland prior to the 17th century. Historic documentation indicates Dutch nobility pursued development of these special cattle for hundreds of years. Select breed guidelines of performance, conformation, milk quality, minimal grain consumption, and the striking full circle belt were all essential.

Generations of royalty worked for hundreds of years to produce belted cattle, rabbits, goats, poultry and swine. As a result of these genetic challenges there were creations of Dutch Belted Rabbits, Dutch Belted Goats, Dutch Belted Dairy Cattle, Lakenvelder poultry of England and America, Lanche Swine of Holland, and Hampshire hogs of America. (Hampshire swine are said to have originated in Hampshire, England, but the earlier historic connection easily traces beyond England to a Netherlands birth.)

Dutch Swine, fowl and rabbits came early to America but the first recorded importation of Dutch Belted cattle was made in 1838 by the U.S. consul of Holland, D.H. Haight. In 1840, master showman P.T. Barnum imported a specimen breeding group to the United States. They were selected from a premier herd developed by one of the Dutch royal families.

Buelingo are great mother cows with abundant milk production. They have a very early puberty, great feed lot gain, delicious meat quality and pasture beauty like no other.
The DCC Buelingo foundation herd was built from cutting edge quality Salers cattle. This is Figure 4 Sally, by Royal Blue, pictured at DCC just 3 days before she was awarded All Age Grand Champion Salers Female at the Denver National Western Stock Show. Shown by Marika Walters, DCC sales person.
The brilliant Buelingo color on the Appalachian hillsides is an awesome sight. Buelingo are mostly Black and white but some are gold, grullo, and red - with white belts.
Paparazzi is a 2225 lb. 3 yr. old herd sire bred and serviced by DCCI. He was used 1998, 1999, and 2000. His sons and daughters will have a major effect on the DCC future Buelingo program.
Barnum agreed that the cattle would be used exclusively for his world-famous circus exhibitions. Barnum billed the belted cattle as "a rare and aristocratic breed." So fascinated was he by his acquisition that Barnum continued to raise belted import cattle on his farm in Orange County, New York the rest of his life. Thanks to Barnum's enthusiasm for these cattle, their progeny were sold and exported to Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, England and the Hawaiian Islands. Due to the cost of importing, only a few ever set foot on U.S. shores again.

During World War II, the unique appearance of the original Dutch herds took a back seat to hunger. Nearly all were butchered during German invasions. Hundreds of years of breeding were lost and only a few pure Dutch Belts survived the war. Only the earlier U.S. importation preserved the purest family of cattle. This military tragedy lost for posterity hundreds of years of selective Dutch genetics.

A few U.S. dairies specialized in Dutch Belted herds. A second tragedy struck the breed when the three major American herds were destroyed in the infamous Dairy buy out of the 1980's. By 1985 only a few pure Dutch Belt cattle remained in the North America.

North Dakota rancher, Russell Bueling and a handful of other adventurous ranchers began experimenting with crossing the Dutch Belted dairy genetics with prominent Angus blood lines. In the mid 1970's Russ Danielson, a North Dakota State University animal scientist, began performance testing the results. The additional milk provided by the Dutch blood brought calf-to-cow weaning weights an impressive step forward.

The beautiful belt and enhanced performance sandwiched value added substance to the exciting genetic project. At this point, the BueLingo breed was born. The word "BueLingo" was derived from the Bueling name and he became the first president of the BueLingo Cattle Society (BCS). Today the BCS has over 100 members and has registered over 3000 animals as breeding stock.

DCC has 5 Buelingo breeding herds with 5 different bulls. Artificial Insemination is used extensively at DCCI. Semen is available on 12 Buelingo bulls from DCCI.
Kids love BueLingo Calves.

In the foundation days of BueLingo, Dickinson Cattle Co. LLC (DCCI) in Barnesville, Ohio, became a major producer. The BueLingo is an open breed, meaning offspring from other breeds can be interbred for specific superior attributes as long as the belt is perpetuated. DCC utilized the foundation BueLingo bloodlines and selectively blended them with proven superior performance genetics. Prominent bloodlines of Limousin, Angus and Salers were commingled resulting in a huge forward leap. Today Dickinson Cattle Co. may be the leading preserver of the old Barnum lineage harkening back a full 160 years.

Darol Dickinson, general manager of DCCI, proudly claims a bit of Dutch ancestry himself. The BCS policy of allowing outside blood in the BueLingo breed, he said, means "we can introduce the greatest performance blood in the world to make sure BueLingo are superior in every quality. We can utilize the very best of any great breed, a tremendous advantage".

Many of the prominent BueLingo herd sires have been developed at DCCI. Numerous 4-H and Future Farmers of America exhibitors have selected BueLingo for future show prospects.

At birth, BueLingo calves average under 75 pounds. Adult cows are moderate in size, 1100 to 1200 pounds, and the adult sires are 1900 - 2100 pounds.

Watch for the striking BueLingo not only in the Appalachian foothills of Ohio, but the show ring and professional ranches across North America.

How to figure herd size? Dickinson, never at a loss for quips, advised, "When inventorying BueLingo, either count the white spots or else count the dark sections and divide by two. If the numbers don't come out the same, do a recount."