Cattle breeds

Traditionally, Alpine grazing requires that, during summer, the cattle bred in valley-floor farms be transferred to mountain pastures. As a result, the breeds found at high altitudes mainly mirror the same distribution of the various animal populations we find in livestock farms on the plains.

Next to the “Italian Dapple Red”, “Italian Braunvieh”, and “Alpine Grey” cattle breeds, which fit well into pastures, other breeds may be observed, such as: the “Pinzgau” and the “Pustertaler”, which share marked rusticity and are the result of genetic selection applied to cattle populations that have adapted themselves to the specific local conditions of the Alps.

The pasture represents an ideal condition in terms of animals' well-being, as a consequence on Alpine pastures we can sporadically find other cattle breeds, such as the “Italian Friesian” which are less suitable for mountain grazing. Most often they are replacement heifers from the dairy farms of the lowlands that prefer favouring the harmonic development of their cattle by ensuring that they spend some time on the mountains.

In some Alpine farms cattle breeds are also found which are mostly used for meat production, such as the “Limousine”, whose presence is accidental or linked to the need to ensure that the pasture is fully exploited.