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A Rare Breed of Italian Origin
Pustertaler cattle, also called Pustertaler Sprinzen (Italy), or Pustertaler Schecken (Germany), are a rare breed from in and around the Puster Valley of Bolzano in the South Tyrol province of northern Italy.
The cattle are basically white in colour with large areas of black or red-brown on the flanks. They have short spreading or forward-pointing horns. The bulls weigh 800–900 kilograms and are about 140 centimetres tall while the cows weigh 500–650 kilograms and are generally about 130 centimetres tall at the withers.
Pustertalers are known for their longevity and easy calving. Calves tend to be lively, with a high daily weight increase when fed on basic rations. With each lactation period, the milk output of the cows increases. The meat quality is very good.
It is considered that there are fewer than 500 pure Pustertaler cattle remaining in the world, most of these are in South Tirol and Austria.
The breed was first imported into New Zealand as embryos and semen from Germany in 2009, these coming from donor animals that had come mainly from South Tirol, but it is currently very rare in this country.(Thanks to Peter McWilliam of the Maungaraki Cattle Company for photographs of his Pustertal cattle.)
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