Old Dutch breeds | Part 1: The charme of living history

Landscape paintings from old masters in the Rijksmuseum: you probably have seen these type of artworks in their real versions. The economical worth is mostly more than the average home in Amsterdam. The worth I’m talking about, is not even the artist behind the painting. What I mean, is the numerous information. Where we can capture everything with a camera, the landscape paintings we know today are the photos from then…

What are Old Dutch breeds?

To start this blog, I will begin by telling you the meaning of Old Dutch animals: What is the definition of it? Old Dutch breeds are breeds, such as horses, dogs and farm animals, from The Netherlands who are on this planet for centuries. ‘Why are these animals so important?’, you will probably think.

There are more reasons for that. In this case, farmers and ‘hobby farmers’ will emphasize on the ecological and economical value, like durability and ‘the power of old blood’. But, that is not the point of my specific story. I will, to begin with, quickly take you into history…

Replaced by the Industrial Revolution

The reason why many Old Dutch breeds became rare, knows several factors. The most recent reason is the ‘replacement’. Where tractors and other industrial instruments became the new draft horses of the countryside, even some goat and cattle breeds seemed to disappear.

In case of cattle breeds, they were replaced by ‘highly producing super cows’, like the modern types we know today. But, if the health of these animals was the same as the old, hardy breeds…

Disastrous disasters

Another cause goes back to the Medieval and even 18th century. In The Netherlands, there where many red-and-white cows: the Brandrood and Friesian Red are ‘still living’ examples of this. Also then the country had to deal with natural disasters. A big flood, when The Netherlands wasn’t that innovative yet when it comes to water systems, had the power over thinning the then li