Valdostana Pezzata Rossa

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Valdostana Pezzata Rossa
Valldostana peu vermell.jpg
Conservation status FAO (2007): not at risk[1]:67
Country of origin Italy
Distribution Valle d'Aosta (85%)
Piemonte
Liguria
Standard MIPAAF (in Italian)
Use dual-purpose: milk and beef
Traits
Weight
  • Male: 550–650 kg
  • Female: 420–550 kg
Height
  • Male: 135–140 cm
  • Female: 120–125 cm
Coat red-pied, white face
Horn status horned in both sexes
  • Cattle
  • Bos (primigenius) taurus
Valdostana Pezzata Rossa cow, detail of udder

The Valdostana Pezzata Rossa is an Italian breed of cattle from Valle d'Aosta region in north-western Italy. It is red-pied, usually with white legs, stomach and face. It is one of three regional breeds in the area, the others being the Valdostana Castana and the Valdostana Pezzata Nera. Like them, it derives from inter-breeding of various local breeds and types of cattle. The most important of these were Swiss Simmental cattle, which came into the Valle d'Aosta over the Great St. Bernard Pass. The Valdostana Pezzata Rossa is a dual-purpose breed, raised mainly for milk, but also for meat. Management is normally transhumant: the cattle are stabled only in winter, and spend the summer months on the mountain pastures of the Alps.

History[edit]

Like the other cattle breeds of the Valle d'Aosta, the Valdostana Castana and the Valdostana Pezzata Nera, the Valdostana Pezzata Rossa derives from inter-breeding of various local breeds and types of cattle. The most important influence on the development and morphology of the Pezzata Rossa came from Swiss Simmental cattle, which came into the region over the Great St. Bernard Pass. In the twentieth century, attempts were made to increase size and productive qualities by cross-breeding with imported stock, including Abondance and Montbéliarde stock from France, and various European strains of Simmental. The resulting increase in size reduced the adaptation of the animals to life on the high mountain pastures, and the experiment was quickly abandoned.[2]:90 A breeders' association, the Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Bovini Razza Valdostana, was started in 1937, and a herd-book was established in 1958.[3]

In 1946 it was thought that were about 106 000 head. In 1983 the population was estimated at 120 000, and in 2014 it was reported as 23 471.[3]

The Valdostana Pezzata Rossa is among the eleven breeds which together form the Fédération Européenne des Races Bovines de l'Arc Alpin, the others being: the Pinzgauer and Tiroler Grauvieh from Austria; the Abondance, Tarentaise and Vosgienne from France; the Hinterwälder and Vordelwälder from Germany; the Rendena from Italy; and the Hérens from Switzerland.[3][4]

Characteristics[edit]

The Valdostana Pezzata Rossa is red-pied. The lower legs, stomach and face are usually white, and the ears red. The muzzle and the mucosa are pink, and the horns short and yellowish. The hooves are particularly hard. It is robust, long-lived and hardy, and well able to exploit high mountain pasture at 2500 m and above. Management is transhumant: the cattle are stabled only in winter, and spend the summer months on the mountain pastures of the Alps, moving higher as the season progresses.[2]:91

Use[edit]

The Valdostana Pezzata Rossa is raised both for milk and for meat. Milk yield averages 4000 kg per lactation; the milk has 3.55% fat[3] and is high in κ-casein, making it suitable for cheese-making.[2]:91 The milk is used to make Fontina, but also in less well-known local cheeses such as Fromadzo, Reblec, Salignum, Seràs and Toma di Gressoney.[2]:91

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Daniele Bigi, Alessio Zanon (2008). Atlante delle razze autoctone: Bovini, equini, ovicaprini, suini allevati in Italia (in Italian). Milan: Edagricole. ISBN 9788850652594.
  3. ^ a b c d Breed data sheet: Valdostana Pezzata Rossa/Italy. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed January 2017.
  4. ^ FERBA - Federazione Europea delle Razze Bovine del Sistema Alpino (in Italian). Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Bovini di Razza Valdostana. Accessed January 2017.

Media related to Valdostana Pezzata Rossa at Wikimedia Commons