A Fjäll heifer
|Conservation status||FAO (2007): not at risk:136|
|Country of origin||Sweden|
The Fjäll (Swedish: 'Fjällko' or Svensk Fjällras) is a traditional Swedish breed of polled mountain cattle. It was threatened with extinction in the 1970s and 1980s, but recovered after a breed association was formed in 1995, partly thanks to stocks of frozen semen. Microsatellite analysis has shown it to be closely related to the endangered Bohuskulla breed.:1775
The traditional mountain cattle breeds were very variable. In 1937 a new breed, the Swedish Polled (Swedish: Svensk Kullig Boskap or SKB) was created with the intention of merging the Fjällras with the Swedish Red Polled (Swedish: Rödkulla), a quite different breed of mountain cattle.:307 However, breeders did not accept the new classification, and continued to maintain separate bloodlines as before.:12–13 During the 1970s and 1980s indiscriminate cross-breeding placed the breed in danger of extinction. A breeders' association, the Föreningen Svensk Fjällrasavel, was established in 1996;:13 a similar association, the Sveriges Rödkulleförening, had formed for the Rödkulla in the 1960s.:13
Stocks of frozen semen from pure-bred Fjällras bulls born in the mid-twentieth century helped in the recovery of the breed, and allowed the effective population size to be increased. In 1996 it was estimated that there were approximately 400 Fjällras cows. In 2012 a total population of 6836 head was reported.
The coat colour of the Fjällras is variable: it may be almost white; white speckled with red or black; colour-sided red or black with finching; or, occasionally, solid red, black or – more rarely – grey. The skin is white. The cattle are well adapted to the mountain environment and forage well on poor pasture.
The Fjällras is principally a dairy breed. Average milk yield is approximately 5500 kg of milk per lactation; some cows may give 11–12 000 kg. The milk has a high butter-fat content, approximately 4.5%, and a protein content of about 3.6%; it is particularly rich in κ-casein B and is suitable for making cheese.
- Barbara Rischkowsky, D. Pilling (eds.) (2007). List of breeds documented in the Global Databank for Animal Genetic Resources, annex to The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 9789251057629. Accessed December 2016.
- Breed description: Swedish Mountain Cattle. Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. Archived 14 November 2007.
- Breed data sheet: Svensk Fjällras/Sweden. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed December 2016.
- Swedish Cattle Breeds. North European Cattle Diversity Project. Archived 18 March 2009.
- I. Tapio, et al. (2006). Prioritization For Conservation Of Northern European Cattle Breeds Based On Analysis Of Microsatellite Data. Conservation Biology 20 (6): 1768–1779. – via EBSCO Academic Search Complete (subscription required)
- "Evolution of British Cattle". pp. 69–70.
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- [Swedish Board of Agriculture] (2002). Country report on animal genetic resources for food and agriculture in Sweden, annex to The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 9789251057629. Accessed December 2016.
- Rawlynce C. Bett, Mwai A. Okeyo, Birgitta Malmfors, Kjell Johansson, Morris Agaba, Donald R. Kugonza, A.K.F.H. Bhuiyan, Anibal E. Vercesi Filho, Arthur S. Mariante, Fidalis D. Mujibi, Jan Philipsson (2013). Cattle Breeds: Extinction or Quasi-Extant?. Resources 2 (3): 335–357. doi:10.3390/resources2030335.
- R.C. Bett, K. Johansson, E. Zonabend, B. Malmfors, J. Ojango, M. Okeyo, J. Philipsson (2010). Trajectories of Evolution and Extinction in the Swedish Cattle Breeds. In: 9th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production: Proceedings; Leipzig, Germany; August 1–6, 2010. Leipzig: Gesellschaft für Tierzuchtwissenschaften. ISBN 9783000316081.
- Breed data sheet: Fjällnära boskap/Sweden. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed December 2016.
- Fjällrasen (in Swedish). Svensk Fjällrasavel. Archived 20 November 2014.
- Swedish mountain cattle. Nordens Ark. Archived 26 December 2014.