About Romagnola Cattle
The origins of the Romagnola breed go very far back,
deriving from the bos taurus macroceros (long-horned aurochs), cattle that
originated in the steppes of Eastern and Central Europe and that gave rise to
various breeds similar in constitution, type, coat and shape of the head and
legs. During the fourth century AD, the barbarian hordes of the Goths, led by
Aginulf, reached Europe with all their goods, including cattle. Part of these
populations settled in the fertile lands of Romagna and their cattle were the
ancestors of the Romagnola breed. Present throughout the modern day provinces
of Forlì, Ravenna, Bologna, Ferrara and Pesaro, this breed has encountered a favorable
environment with a wealth of fodder plants and a good climate. For centuries,
this breed was used mainly in a dynamic capacity and cattle with well-developed
forequarters, a solid structure and short sturdy legs were needed on that tough
and tenacious terrain. Due to mechanization and the development of agricultural
techniques, particularly during the second half of the eighteenth century,
selection in this breed was aimed more towards beef production, a capacity that
was gradually increased over time and became elective in today Romagnola
cattle. The morphological and functional characteristics of breeds that have
been specialized for beef production, together with a dynamic past that is a
guarantee of strength, have brought the Romagnola to the attention of foreign
breeders. Starting in the Seventies, the breed has been introduced in a number
of countries abroad such as Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, the United States,
New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, South Africa and Mexico.
The National Association of Italian Beef-Cattle Breeders
(ANABIC - www.anabic.it) was estabilished to promote and implement all types of
initiatives aimed towards improving, developing, ad spreading the autochthonous
Italian cattle breeds: Marchigiana, Chianina, Romagnola, Maremmana and
Podolica. ANABIC, which came about by merging the previously existing
individual National Breed Associations, has taken on their responsibilities as
far as selection is concerned and has set up a single National Herd Book for
the Italian beef-cattle breeds.
The Romagnola is raised in the provinces of Forlì, Bologna
and Ravenna and 15.000 heads are involved in selection activities.
The Romagnola ha a white
coat with gray shading towards the front and black apical pigmentation. It
demonstrates significant somatic development and a harmonious structure that
tends to be brachymorphic. The trunk is particularly well-developed in the
transverse diameters, with particular emphasis in the hindquarters, where the
thighs and buttocks reveal a broad, convex and markedly inclined musculature.
This breed's short sturdy legs and strong feet have made it an ideal grazing
characterized by notable somatic development and a harmonious structure, with
evident hindquarters and transverse diameter; lively, alert and docile.
The balance achieved
between beef traits and breeding traits, together with extreme hardiness under
harsh environmental conditions and the proven quality of its nutritionally
superior beef have placed the Romagnola breed among the finest beef cattle
breeds in the world.
Calving takes place
without any difficulty and the cows give birth to wheat-colored calves that
weigh an average of 40-45 kg. The Romagnola has an outstanding growth capacity
that is comparable to the Chianina and Marchigiana. The cows weigh between 600
and 900 kg, whereas adult males reach 1200-1500 kg. They are slaughtered when
they reach a weight of 650 - 700 kg, at the age of 16-18 months. Average
slaughter yield is 62-63%.
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