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There are approximately 4.1m dairy cows in New Zealand with an average herd size of just over 350, producing 14.7 billion litres of milk in the 2007/08 season, the total dairy herd is approximately 5.1m. The majority of dairy herds (79%) are in the North Island but only account for 69% of the cows with the South Island herds being much larger. The predominant breeds of dairy cattle are Holstein Friesian, Holstein Friesian/Jersery crossbred and Jersey, in that order.
There are approximately 4.8 million beef cattle in New Zealand. Unlike other countries most cattle in New Zealand feed on grass pasture and are commonly run with sheep on hill country farms.
The predominant breeds of beef cattle are Angus, Angus/Hereford, Hereford and Fresian.