The Hungarian Grey cattle are an ancient breed of domestic cattle indigenous to Hungary. It is a beef cattle breed and primarily raised for meat production. But it is also good as a draught breed. The breed is also known by some other names such as Hungarian Steppe, White Hungarian, Grey Hungarian, Magyar szürkemarha or Magyar alföldi (Hungarian). Hungarian Grey cattle breed belongs to the group of Podolic cattle, and it is well adapted to extensive pasture system. It probably arrived with the 9th century Hungarian immigration from the east to the Hungarian lowlands.
The breed was used as a draught animal in the Middle Ages and early modern times. But it has been breed for early maturity and it’s beef quality from 1861. Nowadays the breed is kept mainly as tourist attractions in the Hortobágy National Park and some other national parks in Hungary. And some small farms may be found in a few places in the Western Hungary. These small herds serve as gene banks, due to their reported resistance to cattle diseases.
Total numbers of the breed decreased by 1975, and there were only 300 cows left. But the numbers have increased since then, and there were about 850 cows in 6 herds by 1982. Review more information about the breed below.
Hungarian Grey Cattle Characteristics
The Hungarian Grey cattle are small to medium sized animals and are slender and tall. Their coat color ranges from silvery-white to ash-grey. The calves are born wheat-colored like other Podolic cattle breeds, and become grey at about three months of age. Both bulls and cows usually have long horns, and their horns are directed upward and curved.
The cows reach a height of 135-140 cm, and 145-155 cm for bulls. Average live body weight of the cows vary from 500 to 600 kg. And the bulls on average weight between 800 and 900 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
Previously the Hungarian Grey cattle were used as a dual-purpose breed and were used for both meat production and as a draught animals. But currently they are mainly used for meat production.
The Hungarian Grey cattle are long-lived and robust animals. They are very hardy and strong animals and well adapted to extensive pasture systems. That’s why they were used as a draught animal in the Middle Ages and early modern times. But currently the breed is mainly used for meat production. They grow relatively fast and reach maturity fast, and their meat is of very good quality. However, review full breed profile of the Hungarian Grey cattle in the following chart.
|Hungarian Grey Cattle | Breed Profile|
|Breed Name||Hungarian Grey|
|Other Name||Hungarian Steppe, White Hungarian, Grey Hungarian, Magyar szürkemarha or Magyar alföldi (Hungarian)|
|Breed Purpose||Mainly meat|
|Special Notes||Grow relatively faster, well adapted to extensive pasture system|
|Breed Size||Small to medium|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climates|
|Coat Color||Ranges from silvery-white to ash-grey|
|Country/Place of Origin||Hungary|