It comes from the ex-county of Modica (province of Ragusa-Sicily). From there it spread throughout the whole island. It was exported into Sardinia giving birth to the Modicana Sarda. It is the most important cattle breed in Sicily, for its consistency and quality as well. Very rustic and frugal breed, lately it has spread around the whole region being easily apt to any pedoclimatic situation.
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.
A uniform dark red coat shading from the black of the bull to the golden red of the cow. Black shades particularly in the front or external sides of the thighs. Black tail tuft. The male has a darker coat, dark red wide muzzle with dark black nostrils. Black hoofs. Yellowish horns at the basis and black at the tips. Large udders with long big teats. Moderate size and height, a very sharp figure but very solid skeleton.
Very good working characteristics, quite good for milk production (considering the extremely poor diet). Milk production is about 18-22 kg. per day in a lactation of 200-220 days, with a fat percentage of 4%. Quite poor for meat. It used to be bred for labour (limbs and hoofs are very strong), today it is bred for milk, with which some typical cheeses are made (Caciocavallo and Ragusano).
Modicana - Cow
Modicana - Bull
Modicana - Cows (photo Salvatore Pipia / ISZS)