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MAREMMANA Cattle

 

 

Source: ANABIC www.anabic.it 

 

 

Breed information

 

Geographical - historical info

Roman writers reported the existence of longhorned cattle in Latium, which may well have been ancestors of the Maremmana and even played a role in the foundation of Podolian cattle of both Italy and Eastern Europe. Eventually the Maremmana may be found to trace back to Grey Steppe cattle which entered Italy in large numbers during the 14th to 18th centuries. Until the last century, Maremmana cattle were kept semi-wild, driven by mounted herdsmen called 'vaccari'.

 

In 1935, when the total breed population of Maremmana cattle was estimated at 274,000 head, herdbook registration started. During the 1930s and 40s Maremmana cattle were exported to Hungary and Croatia to improve the Hungarian Grey and IStrian, respectively. The 21 controlled herds which had been founded, each of 25-30 cows and a bull, totaled 504 cows in 1945, while the total of the breed numbered 170,000 head.

 

Since then numbers have declined dramatically, due to land reform and mechanization. Although the breed joined the Italian Beef Cattle Breeders Association together with the Marchigiana, Romagnola, Chianina and Apulian Podolian, by the mid 1960s total extinction was precticted. Luckily the Maremmana recovered in the period 1965-75 as it had emerged as the only breed able to adapt to the environmental constraints of the hilly areas of the Maremma. From perhaps 30,000 animals in the mid 1960s the breed reached 60,000 in 1975. But crossbreeding with beef breeds came back into fashion in order to produce more tender beef. In 1992 the total was estimated at 10,000, of which 4,000 females and 120 sires were herdbook registered.

 

Morphological info

The breed is rigorous and hardy, accustomed to living outdoors and capable of surviving on poor grazing. Maremmana cows average 600 kg and stand 145 cm at the withers, while the bulls average 900 kg and measure 155 cm at the withers. grow to 120 cm in length, are lyre-shaped in the cows and sickle-shaped in the bulls. Selection for beef developed the fleshing qualities of this late maturing breed, which strikingly resemble Hungarian cattle.

 

Advantages of the breed are not only their extraordinary hardiness and good mothering ability - cows give up to ten kg of milk per day - but also the absence of any calving problems even when bred to heavy beef breeds such as Chianina, Limousin and Charolais bulls.    

 

 

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

 

 

 

Maremmana links

 

EAAP Animal Genetic Databank - Maremmana

ANABIC - Maremmana breed

 

 

Basic breed info
Name: Maremmana

Origin: Italy, authentic breed

Status: Regional

Size: Large

Purpose: Beef

 

 

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