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Bovini EU

European cattle breeds: the geographical map

Cattle breeds and geographical issues

The diversity of the European climate allows the breeding of different breeds of beef that satisfy everyone's needs by creating particular cuts of meat, some valuable and others extremely resistant. Short or bristly fur, absence of horns or primary characteristic, polychrome or piebald coat, the differences range across different areas creating a set rich in particularities and differentiations, here is the map.

Highland cattle breed in Scotland

Cold temperatures represent the perfect habitat for a cattle breed with thick, thick fur. Two different strains coexist happily: the black coat represents the smallest size and dominates the north-western islands, while the reddish coated cattle, on the other hand, prefers the hinterland.

The characteristics of the bovine breed are a short stature and lyre-shaped horns with a coat that at first glance appears to be natural fur. The particular climate allows the animal to develop lean meat low in cholesterol. Adaptable and docile, the cattle breed has experienced a migration towards Australia and South America where it has modified part of its characteristics to adapt to the more temperate climate.

Shorthorn cattle breed - still - in Scotland

The Collin brothers created a cattle breed by combining two local breeds, we are in the mid-eighteenth century and the desire to experiment reigns supreme. The Holderness and Teeswater breeds were combined to create the cattle we know today as the Shorthorn.

A richly colored coat with shades ranging from white to red, imposing and downward-curving horns, short stature and imposing size.

Although on an aesthetic level all the characteristics tended towards excellence, today in terms of meat the Shorthorn breed is considered rather fatty, which is why it is undergoing a new modification by crossing with the Chianina or the Angus.

Dexter breed cows in Ireland

The green and boundless Irish meadows are home to a bovine breed born in the nineteenth century from crossbreeding with the Kerry, the dwarf breed. Small and rich in quality, the Dexter cattle breed is characterized by a black or dark red coat, a height that barely reaches 110 cm and a modest weight of around 350 kg.

The meat is tender and with good marbling thanks to the grass fed breeding favored by the breed. Also perfect for milk production, the Dexter is often chosen as a pet, it often happens that you move around Ireland and see small cows within the plots. Curious.

Scottish Angus cattle

Another breed that has been very successful and has experienced several migrations to many parts of the world is the Angus. The original has a more complex name and a direct reference to the land of origin: Angus Aberdeen , born around the second half of the nineteenth century in the Scottish county of the same name.

The main characteristic is that it belongs to the pulled category - without horns, which reaches 850 kg without too many problems.

Short hair with a pitch black color identifies the Black Angus breed which, fertile and resistant, manages to develop infra-muscular fat which is excellent for marbling and makes cuts of meat delicious and succulent.

Red Poll in England

The Red Poll cattle breed is considered at risk of extinction as it produces medium quality meat comparable to other breeds that are more resistant and efficient in terms of production. Its birth is due to the cross between the Polled Suffolk Dun and the Horned Red Norfolk, breeds that have now disappeared from the agricultural landscape.

The Red Poll breed is still present in the counties where it was born, Suffolk and Norfolk, and has a good aptitude for milk production for which it is mainly bred. Of medium size, it reaches 135 cm in height at the withers and is characterized by a cherry red coat and absence of horns.

Hereford - again - in England

The county of Hertfordshire has one of the best known and most important breeds in the world.

The red coat with an evident white patch is the main characteristic which is combined with short limbs, and a significant weight which can reach 7 quintals in female specimens.

The resistant structure allows you to face the cold and humid climate without major problems, making the animal robust and perfect for grazing.

Precisely for this last reason it experienced an important migration towards the American continent where it found an equally perfect habitat suitable for its development. Rapid growth and a good balance between meat and fat become an element of prestige and interest on the part of many breeders who have chosen to add the bovine breed to their breeding parterre.

English Jersey breed

The English island of the same name located near the English Channel is full of a breed of cattle that could move peacefully on land until around 8,500 years ago. The detachment of the plate that created the island which is 7 km from the French coast dates back to this era.

The characteristics of the breed are mostly linked to the production of milk which, although it contains multiple nutritional properties, is not very suitable for the production of long-life dairy products. A Fromentino coat that ranges from brown to yellow is combined with another aesthetic characteristic: a reduced weight not far from the 6 quintals of the male specimen.

Norman cattle breed in France

A classic among great classics. The Norman is the best known and best known breed in France and lends itself to the dual use of meat and milk, although the latter is prevalent as it lends itself perfectly to the production of dairy products.

A variable weight ranging between 650 kg and 13 kg allows the bovine breed to be perfect in different environments, so much so that farms are also found in Africa and South America.

Resistant and robust, the Norman breed represents the second largest breed in terms of number of animals in France - Normandy.

French Aubrac breed

The Massif Central is home to a breed of cattle which for the French is mainly used to fatten calves. An important weight close to 700 kg for females is added to a coat that ranges from blond to brown offering color variations in the shoulder area.

Resistant and adaptable to different temperatures, it finds its perfect hanita in narrow spaces such as the French mountains which reach arctic temperatures. The development of resistance adds to the strong maternal instinct that the breed carries engraved in its DNA.

Cattle of the Maine Anjou breed - always - in France

Her real name is Rouge de Prés, but she is often called by her ancient name Maine Anjou due to her place of birth, Maine and the Loire.

The breed is on the verge of extinction, it saw great development in the mid-1900s and then declined considerably until it almost became extinct.

The meat is sublime and highly respectable: fragrant, tender and at times velvety, it finds its place of honor in the preparation of long-cooked recipes such as boiled meat.

It is difficult to explain the path of decline, the only motivation is linked to the evident presence on the market of more resistant garments suitable for different climates, however this remains a supposition which perhaps will never have a real motivation.

Charolaise breed in France

The Charolles region located in southern Burgundy contains the perfect conditions to offer the cattle breed rapid development, this is where the Charolaise was born. The bovine has a particular cream-colored coat, perfect for grazing and is often used as a crossbreed as it contains a multitude of valid characteristics and a robust size: 13 quintals with a well-developed rear area.

The breed is the first in France, followed closely by the Limousine for the number of animals and quality of the products obtained. In Italy for example, importation allows the creation of veal which guarantees perfectly soft and tasty cuts of meat.

Limousine - always - in France

The second in the ranking according to the French is she, the Limousine breed which contains useful and profitable qualities for breeders.

Fast combined growth and excellent resistance to the harsh temperatures from which it comes - the province of Limoges - translate into lean and tasty meat appreciated for multiple processes including - one above all - the Limousine tartare.

A high-sounding name for a bovine breed capable of adapting to various diametrically opposed climatic conditions.

Cattle breeds and Europe

The cattle breeds present in Europe offer a broad panorama rich in details both in aesthetic terms and in terms of flavour. Although the aesthetic factor may be second rate, it is worth remembering that certain cuts of meat have achieved success and fame precisely because of their particular dimensions, an example above all: Tomahawk obtained from a cross between the Australian Black Angus and the Wagyu.

The mapping still has a lot to tell, we need to stay in France a little longer and then move towards Belgium, Holland, Germany, Poland and Switzerland with a particular breed which in Italy has become the symbol of a commercial product.