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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Breeds of Livestock - Gelbvieh Cattle

Breeds of Livestock - Gelbvieh Cattle

Gelbvieh (Gelp-fee)

gelbvieh-web-1.jpgAlso Known By: Einfarbig gelbes Hohenvich, German Yellow

Gelbvieh originated in Bavaria, in southern Germany. It is believed to have been developed in the late 18th and early 19th century from self-colored Bernese and Swiss Brown cattle used on the local red or red spotted cattle. Like most European breeds the Gelbvieh was originally selected for meat, milk and work.

The breed was introduced into the United States by Carnation Genetics through the importations of semen from Germany, starting in July of 1971. The Gelbvieh is one of the European breeds which was introduced to the United States through artificial insemination programs. The American Gelbvieh Association was also organized in 1971. Like many other breeds imported during this time the breed was established by the upgrading of foundation females. Females are registered as purebred at 7/8 Gelbvieh and bulls at 15/16. To gain status as an A.I. sire in Germany, the German bulls first must excel in a battery of performance and progeny tests. Over 70% of the German calf crop is A.I.-sired; therefore, the breed is backed by a strong performance heritage. AGA has requires performance records for registration. An annual Sire Summary, Cow Recognition Program, EPDs for all animals, breed promotion, and a Commercial Marketing Program headline AGA's programs of action.

gelbvieh-web-2.jpgThe breed is red in color, with strong skin pigmentation, and horned. Polled cattle have developed in the United States from the use of naturally hornless foundation females. Proponents of the breed claim the breed has superior fertility, calving ease, mothering ability, and growth rate of the calves.

Gelbvieh Breed Associations and Registries


Briggs, H.M. & D.M. Briggs. Modern Breeds of Livestock. Fourth Edition. Macmillan Publishing Co. 1980

Mason, I.L, World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Third edition (1988), C.A.B International

Promotional materials, American Gelbvieh Association, Westminster, CO


American Gelbvieh Association, Westminster, CO


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Updated June 26, 1996


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