Cattle Breeds: accounting for almost 80 % of Austrian cattle breeds, Simmental Cattle is the most popular cattle breed in Austria. The animals are of medium to large size and range in colour from light-yellow to dark-red-brown spotted; cows weigh between 600 and 800 kg, bulls between 1,100 and 1,300 kg; dual-purpose cattle producing an annual average milk flow of approximately 5,300 kg. Raised in the Berner Oberland Region as early as the Middle Ages, the Simmental breed was imported to Austria from 1830 and cross-bred with domestic breeds.
Kaerntner Blondvieh: white to maize-yellow cattle breed raised in Carinthia, Styria and northern parts of Slovenia; cows weigh between 500 and 600 kg, bulls between 800 and 850 kg. A cross-breed of Hungarian steppe cattle and alpine cattle, the Kaerntner Blondvieh has developed rapidly in Carinthia and Styria since the late 18th century. In the early 20th century, the Kaerntner Blondvieh was particularly crossed with Franconian, Simmental and Rotbunte cattle breeds. Today the Kaerntner Blondvieh has almost disappeared.
Waldviertler Blondvieh: cream to rust-coloured cattle raised in Lower Austria. Today often reddish-brown as a result of cross-breeding. Cows weigh between 500 and 550 kg, bulls between 800 and 850 kg; descended from Celtic Cattle and Mitteldeutsches Bergvieh (central German mountain cattle). Cross-bred with the Murboden, Franconian and Glan-Donnerberger breeds of cattle, particularly in the 19th and early 20th centuries; gradually replaced by Simmental Cattle for better milk production; still kept in remote areas of the Waldviertel Region. A nucleus herd is kept south of Vienna. The Waldviertler Blondvieh Cattle Breeding Association was dissolved in 1966.
Murboden Cattle: raised in Styria and parts of Carinthia, Lower Austria and Slovenia. Cows are flaxen with a reddish and even light-grey touch with white spots; characteristic light-coloured triangle on the slate-blue muzzle; cows weigh between 550 and 650 kg, bulls between 900 and 1,000 kg. Originally an "oxen breed", noted for its high beef quality and fast rate of weight gain. The Murboden breed was obtained by cross-breeding Bergschecken with Muerztaler Cattle by the River Mur/Mura. Very popular before the Second World War, then replaced by other breeds; cross-bred with Franconian Cattle. Some animals of the pure original type are in public ownership. - Muerztaler Cattle: light whitish-grey strain of the Murboden breed with yellowish-grey, grey or blackish-brown colouring; particularly popular in the Muerztal Valley.
Braunvieh: solid brown to grey-brown breed of cattle; black muzzle with light-coloured frame. Cows weigh between 550 and 750 kg, bulls between 1,000 and 1,200 kg. Dual-purpose cattle with excellent milk performance (approx. 5,800 kg). Breeding started in central Switzerland approximately 600 years ago; has spread as far as Tyrol. The modern Braunvieh breed in Austria was obtained in the mid-1960s by cross-breeding with American Brown-Swiss. The Braunvieh is popular in Vorarlberg, West Tyrol, and northern parts of Styria; no specified breeding area except in Upper Austria, in Lower Austria and in Carinthia. - Montafoner Cattle: strain of the Braunvieh breed, raised in the southern part of Vorarlberg; of medium weight, heavily muscled, mostly middle- to dark-brown cattle with light-coloured dorsal stripe. Cows weigh between 500 and 600 kg, bulls between 750 and 1,000 kg. Very popular in the 19th century, from that time gradually transformed into the Braunvieh by cross-breeding with Brown-Swiss.
Pinzgauer Cattle: of medium size, chestnut-coloured; native to Austria; developed in the mid-19th century as a result of cross-breeding with cattle from the Wallis region (Valais, Switzerland); broad white stripe from the withers over the back and rear side of the thighs; belly, brisket and tail are white. Cows weigh between 550 and 650 kg, bulls between 1,000 and 1,100 kg.
Ennstaler Bergschecken: fine-boned cattle raised in Styria; formed the basis for breeding the Pinzgauer Cattle. The last two cows of this breed were slaughtered in 1986.
Pustertaler Schecken: obtained by crossing Eringer Cattle with the local breed of the Pustertal Valley and its side valleys, predominantly white in colour. Chestnut to light-brown areas on the flanks, turning into small spots towards the edge. Cows weigh between 500 and 600 kg, bulls between 800 and 900 kg. Cross-bred with the Pinzgauer Cattle in the 19th century. No longer selected for breeding (in 1927 excluded from the selective breeding association by the agricultural inspectorate), the Pustertaler Schecken have gradually been replaced by other breeds; today only approximately 60 cows left.
Jochberger Hummeln: developed from the Pinzgauer Cattle; raised near Kitzbuehel from 1834; very popular in the 19th century; today only 15 head left. Similar to the Pinzgauer Cattle in appearance, but hornless and of smaller size.
Tyrolean Grey Cattle: ancient breed native to North and South Tyrol, also bred in the Allgaeu Region (Germany). Decreasing in number, but was still widespread in the Eastern Alps at the end of the 19th century. Replaced by the Braunvieh Cattle; contributed a lot to the improvement of cattle breeds in South-Eastern Europe. Silver to iron-grey, sometimes brownish-grey with certain lighter and darker spots. Bulls are dark with a light-coloured saddle-spot. Dual-purpose cattle with excellent milk yield. Cows weigh between 500 and 600 kg, bulls between 900 and 1,000 kg.
Tux Cattle: black or reddish-brown cattle raised in the Zillertal Valley, with white marks near the pelvis and root of tail, escutcheon, udder, end of tail and underchest; sometimes white on the forearms and lower legs. Cows weigh between 550 and 600 kg, bulls between 800 and 900 kg. Originally kept in large parts of Italy and Tyrol, this breed is said to have originated from the Swiss Eringerrind Cattle; was driven back to the Zillertal Valley as early as the 19th century. The cattle breed nearly disappeared as a result of systematic TB-control and there are only a few head left. The breed was selected for its aggressiveness, which resulted in lower milk production; today the breed is well-known for its fast rate of weight gain.
Schwarzbunte (Holstein Friesian): only bred in the Eferding Basin (Upper Austria) until 1965, by cross-breeding with American Holstein Friesian cattle kept all over Austria today as the breed with the best milk performance. Sharply defined black and white spotted markings, dark mucous membranes, head with white marks. Cows weigh about 600-700 kg, bulls 1,000-1,200 kg. With about 6,700 kg the highest milk-yield of Austrian cattle.
For the numerous breed threatened by extinction a gene maintenance program has been set up: Waldviertler Blohdvieh, Kaerntner Blondvieh, Murboden Cattle, Ennstaler Bergschecken, Tuxer Cattle, Original Braunvieh, and others.