This site is a place of study and rigorous information that responds to the needs of those wishing to learn and understand. This section is devoted to italian breeds of cattle. Mariapia Ciaghi dealt with translations.
Click on the menu on the left to view illustrated information sheets about particular breeds, including their origin, diffusion and economic and morphological characteristics. The Italian Friesian or Holstein, Italian Brown Cattle and the Friuli Red Spotted are not included in this atlas. Despite the fact that they represent the major cattle breeds in Italy, they derive from international breeds that have been selected in Italy for over a century.
Just as in many other countries, since after the Second World War, cattle breeding in Italy has seen the rise of a few cosmopolitan breeds that are very highly specialized. Among cows raised for milk production in Italy, three foreign breeds (Italian Friesian or Holstein, Italian Brown Cattle) produce over 90% of the officially controlled production, while the remaining share is produced by around 20 indigenous breeds. The situation in the meat market, where Italy has a 50% production deficit, is also dramatic with 6 specialized indigenous breeds in this production area (Piemontese, Maremmana, Chianina, Marchigiana, Romagnola and Podolica) . They are in increasingly more difficulty due to growing competition from foreign breeds and markets. Some dual purpose local breeds have been able to maintain a discreet presence in certain minor areas (Valdostana, Rendena, Grigio Alpina, Pustertaler, Modicana and Sarda.). During past years we have seen a growing interest in many indigenous Italian breeds, especially in hilly farm country and mountains where they have been proven to be more adaptable to the habitat and they have a high ability to graze in poor fields or pastures without having any particular reproduction problems.
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