The Podolica cows are a triple-purpose strain of domestic cows in southern Italy which are raised for beef, draught and dairy functions.
The strain belongs to this Podolic collection of grey cows and increased mainly from the regions of Puglia, Molise, Campania, Calabria, Basilicata, and Abruzzo.
But the strain was previously distributed throughout almost all of southern Italy and so far as Istria (now part of Croatia).
Podolica cattle breed information
Podolica cattle are medium-sized creatures with black colored skin.
Their coat color is a switch. Bulls and cows have been different in coloration.
Even the bulls are maybe black, although the cows are pale grey tending to the white. Like many other gray cattle breeds, the calves are created wheat-colored.
However, they soon become gray at around three weeks. Both cows and bulls usually have horns. Their horns are half-moon light and lyre-shaped and shaped in bulls in cattle.
The typical height of the bulls is approximately 150 cm at the withers and approximately 145 cm in cattle.
The cow’s weight approximately 650 kg. And bodyweight of this Podolica bulls is about 800 kg.
Podolica cattle benefits
Formerly, the Podolica cows were kept and used for draught work. But they’re used for meat and milk production functions.
The Podolica cows are a very hardy and robust breed of cattle. They are a rustic strain and are capable of living on pasture and also on brutal terrain.
The animals can use undergrowth, and food sources which would not otherwise be utilized, such as scrub stubble and maquis.
They were formerly used for draught purposes. But following the Second World War, need for oxen disappeared due to the mechanization of agriculture.
And now the Podolica cattle breed is largely employed for meat and milk production purposes.
The meat of these animals is regarded as of significant quality, also carries a mark of grade.
Even the Podolica cows are fairly good milk manufacturers. Typically, they could produce approximately 1500 kg of milk per lactation.
In Istria, the Podolica cows breed is currently considered a separate breed, named as Istrian cattle.
In earlier times the Podolica cattle breed was used as a draught animal. But require for oxen disappeared.
And the Podolica cattle are being raised for meat and milk production purposes.
Precise roots of the Podolica cows aren’t known. But it has been suggested that it derives from cows of these Podolian steppes of eastern Europe, as with other European gray cattle breeds (perhaps brought to Italy by invading Goths from the fifth century AD or by the Lombard king Agilulf in the sixth century).
A herdbook for the breed was established in 1984. The population of these Podolica cattle was projected at 100,000 heads in 2008, of which approximately 25,000 were listed at the herdbook.
Along with the overall registered number in the herdbook was 27,509 at the end of 2013. Now the breed is considered to be in danger by indiscriminate cross-breeding using bulls of specialized meat cattle breeds.