Advertising opportunities on the Cattle Network website





Copyright AID Bonn, Email:




Breed information


Geographical - historical info 

During the 19th century various strains of yellowish-brown, triple-purpose cattle evolved in Central Germany. These cattle were bred from Red Highland cattle which was upgraded to imported, uncoloured Bernese (proto Simmental) and Schwyz (proto Swiss Brown) bulls. In 1872 a first breed society was formed for breeders who were concentrating on the development of solid yellow-brown cattle of triple-purpose type. A variety of new breeds and strains thus evoled:

- The Glan and the Donnersberg (...)

- The Limpurg (...)

- The Lahn (...)

- The Yellow Franconian (...)

- The Old Franconian Red Land-race cattle (...)

- The Schwälm (...)

- The Scheinfeld (...)

- The Elling-Weissenburg (...)

- The Mainland (...)


(...) In time the various Yellow breeds became more and more interbred, and in 1953 they were officially amalgamated, with the new name of Gelbvieh (German Yellow). Today the main breeding area for the German Yellow is located in Bavaria, around the cities of Wurzburg, Bamberg and Nurnberg, while a small breeding area is also found in Hessen. The breed ranked fifth on the list of cattle breeds in Germany in 1988, with a total of 215,000 animals, of which 24,136 were registered herdbook cows. In 1991 the breed, which is currently called Gelbes Frankvieh again, has 40,000 cows, of which 17,000 are herdbook recorded, and numbers are increasing again.


Cattle were exported, first to Spain and Portugal, in order to upgrade the north Iberian blond breeds. Recently, the breed has been exported to Great Britain, and to North America. In the USA the breed, which is known by its German name of Gelbvieh, has become a leading beef breed within a very short time. The breed is also recognized in Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa with its own breed societies. 


Morphological info

Originally bred for triple-purpose, the modern Gelbvieh is a beef breed and the cows are in demand as sucklers,or milked. The coat colour of these heavy muscled cattle is as its name already indicates: yellow, from straw coloured to reddish, with a ring of light hair around the eyes and a pink muzzle. The cows' height at withers averages 140 cm, and the weight ranges from 650 to 850 kg; the bulls average from 148 to 156 cm, and weigh from 1,100 up to 1,300 kg. In 1993 the 17,642 controlled cows averaged 4,884 kg of milk at 4.12% fat and 3.52% protein. 



Source: Marleen Felius, Cattle breeds - an encyclopedia, Doetinchem, Netherlands : Misset, 1995           



Gelbvieh links


American Gelbvieh Association

Gelbvieh Association

Australian Gelbvieh Association

South African Gelbvieh Association

Gelbvieh Cattle Breeders Society of New Zealand


Basic breed info
Name: Gelbvieh (German Yellow)

Origin: Recently amalgamated breed

Status: Regional/ International

Size: Large

Purpose: Dairy/Beef



Copyright © 2005 [Cattle Network - EAAP Working Group]