Holstein cows originally came from Northern Europe. Many breeding animals now come from North America.
These cows are mainly black and white.
The most popular breed in the world and in Australia; nearly 1.4 million of Australia's 1.65 million dairy cows are Holsteins.
Holstein cows produce large quantities of milk; some Holsteins produce 10,000 litres in a year. That's equal to 5000 two-litre milk cartons (14 cartons every day).
Holsteins are one of the largest dairy animals. Cows can stand over 1.5 metres tall and weigh over 600 kg, while bulls stand over 1.8 metres tall and weigh over 1000 kg (about the same as a small car).
Solid brown in colour, varying from very light to dark.
Brown Swiss were bred for their adaptability to any sort of country side and for their high protein and high quantities of milk produced. They are competitive with the Friesian cow on milk quantity and Jersey on milk quality.
Cows need a balanced diet that gives them enough energy to keep their bodies working and to produce milk. What a cow eats affects how much milk she gives, so farmers need to ensure that their cows have a nutritious diet.
Cows eat about 20 kilograms of nutritious food a day - equivalent to 103 baked potatoes or 720 slices of bread! Cows can drink about 100 litres of water (a bathtub full) in a day.
There are five main types of food in a dairy cow's diet which are: Pasture, Hay, Silage, Grains and Forage crops.
Cows are very busy all day long... they chew at least 50 times per minute and spend 10 hours a day chewing their food to aid digestion.
Dairy cows have four stomach compartments! Each plays a different role in helping to digest the food that they eat which in turn assists in producing milk. Most cows produce about 25 Litres of milk every day. This process takes from 50-70 hours!
Cows need to be milked at least twice a day. Milk is collected from the cow's udder by a milking machine with suction cups in a milking shed on a dairy farm.
The farmer gently places the cups on each of the cow's four teats. From here the milk travels through a series of stainless steel pipes to a large refrigerated vat where it is stored and cooled. The milk is then collected by a milk tanker each day and transported to the factory.
At the factory the milk is pasteurised and put into cartons and plastic bottles. Milk is also used to make cream, butter, yogurt, ice cream and cheese. All these products are known as dairy foods.
Dairy foods are transported from the factory to the supermarkets, shops and canteens where you can buy them.
Dairy farmers do lots of things to care for the environment and maintain healthy farms and healthy cows such as managing and protecting the water on their farm.
By planting trees and shrubs near rivers and streams farmers help stop the soil from washing away when it rains (erosion). When the soil stays put, all the goodness and nutrients are locked into it and the grass grows perfectly.
When soil washes into a river after it rains, the water becomes murky. This starves the fish and plants in the water of oxygen and they can die.
Fencing cattle out of streams and waterways keeps cattle poo on the paddocks and stops it from polluting water. Cattle poo helps keep soil healthy by providing it with nutrients.
Trees also provide shade and shelter for cows, especially in summer when it's hot.