This breed seems to have been originated from the light golden -coated cattle quite similar to present day Reggiana, at several steps crossbred with Podolico grey cattle. It takes its name from the area of distribution around the provinces of Modena, Reggio Emilia, Mantova, Ferrara, Bologna, where it was highly appreciated for its very good milk production.
In 1960 there were about 142.000 heads, at present their number has greatly decreased because of the highly competitive diffusion of cosmopolitan breeds.
Since 1985 the Registry Office of autochthonous cattle breeds and ethnic groups of limited diffusion has been founded, in order to protect those Italian cattle breeds at risk of extinction and to safeguard this genetic heritage. Among them there are the following breeds: Agerolese, Bianca Val Padana (Modenese), Burlina, Cabannina, Calvana, Cinisara, Garfagnina, Modicana, Mucca Pisana, Pezzata Rossa d’Oropa, Pinzgau, Pontremolese, Pustertaler, Reggiana, Sarda, Sardo-Modicana, Varzese.
It shows a white mantle shading to grey at the shoulder and thigh levels, yellowish medium-sized horns with black tip; the frontal hair tuft may have some reddish shading as it comes from dark golden cattle. Another typical characteristic of some Italian white breed is the so-called ‘cut’, that is a pink coloured reversed V in the centre of the dark grey wide muzzle. Depigmented skin, medium-small size and height.
This breed was originally used for milk, labour and meat but throughout the years it was mainly selected for milk production.
Modenese - Cow
Modenese - Bull