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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Breeds of Livestock - Piedmontese Cattle

Breeds of Livestock - Piedmontese Cattle



The Piemonte region of Northwest Italy (razza Piemontese) is a secluded pocket, naturally protected by the Alps mountains. Aurochs, (bos Taurus) ancient European cattle, populated this region. Some 25,000 years ago, a type of cattle known as Zebu (bos Indicus) began a massive migration from Pakistan. The vanguard of this migration entered the Piedmont valleys and were blocked from further movement by the Alps. These cattle stayed and intermingled with the local "native" cattle - the Auroch. These two distinct breeds - the Auroch and the Zebu - fused and evolved through natural sel;ection over the next 25,000 years to become the Piedmontese breed.


fullbloodbull.jpgAll Italian white breeds, Piedmontese included, are born 'fawn' or tan and change to the grey-white color, with black skin pigmentation. The Piedmontese, however, also carry genetic traits absolutely unique to them. In 1886, the appearance of double-muscling (DM) in Piedmontese cattle attracted the attention of breeders, who had the foresight to recognize the enormous potential of this development. The first Herdbook was opened in 1887, and improvement campaign and standard of merit have led to many years of genetic selection to eliminate detrimental aspects generally associated with DM.



In Italy, the Piedmontese have been (and many still are today) utilized as a dual-purpose animal...having very rich milk used for specialty cheese production and beef marketed as a premium product. The first Piedmontese in North America arrived in the fall of 1979 through an importation made from Italy by the PBL Co-operative of Saskatchewan, Canada. Additional importation throught he 1980s added to the Piedmontese lines in North America. By the 1990's, import of genetic material (semen and embryos) had dramatically improved - and there is now a wealth of bloodlines to select from.


Registries and Breed Associations


Content Providers:

Piedmontese Association of the United States, 343 Barrett Road Elsberry, MO 63343; Phone 573-384-5685; Fax 573-384-5567; Email:

Anaborapi, Str. Trinita 32, 12061, Carru, Italy

Southeastern Piedmontese Association, 2910 Hartwell Hwy, Dewy Rose, GA, 30634



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Updated July 12, 2001


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