Bred on farms across the Netherlands, the Lakenvelder cattle is one of the finest breeds in the country. However, the stock numbers were reduced drastically after repeated tuberculosis outbreaks and government introduction of more productive breeds such as the Holstein.
By the time the Association for the Protection of Rare Domestic Breeds was founded in 1976 there were only around 100 animals left, and these only survived thanks to a handful of devoted small-scale farmers. Following the introduction of a breeding program, the number has risen to a healthier population of around 3,500 cows today.
The Lakenvelder breed has ancient origins. In the Middle Ages it was grazed around castles and monasteries for its tender meat, and in some cases milk production, and was favored for its beauty and placid nature.
The first record of the breed can be found in a 1642 painting by the Dutch painter Cornelig Huysman, exhibited in the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig. However, the origin of the name is uncertain: it may derive from the small village of Lakerveld in the province of South Holland or from the Dutch word "laken", meaning cloth and referring to the white belt around the cow’s belly.
The Lakenvelder has a completely black or brown coat with this characteristic white band around its mid section. Ideally the band is no wider then 25cm and does not extend beyond the cow’s shoulders or hips. The tongue, udder and the tip of the horns are also usually brown or black.
It is a robust breed, very resistant to illness, which means the animals can stay outside for part of the year – from April/May to September/October. During the long winter months the cows are kept inside in free-range stables. The calves are born outside, usually unassisted, and are reared on cow’s milk and pasture.
The animals are primarily raised for their meat, the quality of which is linked to the natural environment in which they live, and their ability to move around pastures freely. Dairy production is a secondary reason for farming this breed.
The Presidium aims to promote the breed as a source of excellent meat on the local market and by creating links between breeders, butchers and restaurants.
Production area: All provinces of the Netherlands
tel. +31 344681972
tel. +31 528372276
Laren: R.J. de Vries
tel. +31 573255122
Westervelde: Stichting biologische Zorgboerderij De Mare
tel. +31 592612747
Gitze: Hoeve de Lakenvelder
tel. +31 161225642
Hippolytushoef: Linker Family
tel. +31 227593567 - 0620801030
Broekhuizrnvorst: Joosten Family
tel. +31 7746312310
Eysden (mesch): Leon Benders en Rard Dullens
tel. +31 434094583
Oudekerk a/d Ijssel: Vonk Noordegraaf
tel. +31 180682558
tel. +31 573432286
Delft: Maatschap Sonneveld,
tel. +31 104708096