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New Zealand: Rare
Importation: 1990s

Pinzgauer Cattle

A Rare Breed of European Origin

Pinzgauer heifers (Owned and photographed by Bridget Lowry)
Pinzgauer heifers   (Owned and photographed by Bridget Lowry, Pinzridge Stud)

      Red and white Pinzgauer cattle are descended from the red native cattle of Bavaria. They were originally bred for meat and as draught animals – but are also excellent milk producers.

      This medium-sized breed takes its name from Pinzgau in Salzburg, Austria, and Herd Books for cattle of this name date back to the 1700s.

      Pinzgauers have a quiet temperament and adapt well to a variety of climatic conditions. They calve easily and are excellent mothers, while the calves have a rapid growth rate.

      The most noticeable feature of the breed is its chestnut red coat with striking white markings of which the most obvious is the prominent white dorsal stripe which extends over the rump and onto the thighs. This dorsal striping, known as “finching”, is a very primitive feature. (The only other breed on which it is seen in New Zealand to any extent is the Hereford – although not to such a marked degree.)

      A few purebred Pinzgauer herds were established in New Zealand during the 1990s. By 2011 they had their own breed society, with 64 animals in the herd book (over half these being being purebred) owned by seven breeders.

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