Anatolian Black Cattle

The Anatolian Black cattle are a triple purpose breed of cattle which are good for milk, meat and draught work. It is also known as Native Black Cattle, Anatolian Native and Turkish: Yerli Kara.

The breed originated in Anatolia which is currently Turkey. It is the most popular breed of cattle in Turkey and are mainly used for milk and meat production. And it is also used as a draught animal on small farms.

Currently the breed is raised primarily in central Turkey. The Anatolian Black cattle are the smallest of the native cattle breeds of Turkey. And they are genetically closely related to the East Anatolian Red and South Anatolian Red cattle breeds of Turkey.

Together the Anatolian Black, East Anatolian Red and South Anatolian Red cattle breeds are collectively referred to as “Anatolian Native” cattle. And these breeds are distinguished on morphological and regional grounds, rather than genetically.

Total number of the genetically purebred Anatolian Black cattle breed has decreased. And they are considered at the risk of extinction. Their total numbers decreased mainly due to crossbreeding with the European cattle breeds for improving productivity and yields.

Research has been conducted into how to improve their productivity in order to save the breed and other native breeds. Aim of the research is also to produce more viable animals for the farmers. At the Central Livestock Research Institute in Lalahan, there is a conservation herd is located. Read more information about the breed below.

Anatolian Black Cattle Characteristics

Anatolian Black cattle are smaller sized animals with a long trunk and slim bones. Their conformation tends to vary and individuals can exhibit a dairy or beef build.

Their coat color is generally raven black and the skin is thick and tough. The hair over their body is slightly wavy on the neck, and hair on the inner surface of the ears is thick.

Both bulls and cows usually have short horns. They have short ribs that give them a medium chest depth. They have relatively small dewlap and their neck is of average length. Their front side of the body is lower and narrower than the rear end.

Their shoulders are narrow, long and slant and the rump is sharp and slant. They have short legs with strong hooves, and the back is straight.

Head of the Anatolian Black cattle is generally narrow towards the nose and possesses profound eyes. The cows have narrower heads with small and long face, and the bulls have relatively big heads with a convex profile.

Average height of the cows is around 100-110 cm at the shoulder and the bulls are pretty larger than the cows.

Average live body weight of the mature bulls vary from 300 to 400 kg. And the mature cows on average weight between 200 and 300 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.


The Anatolian Black cattle are actually a triple purpose animals. They are good for both milk and meat production. And they are also pretty good for using as a draught animal.

Special Notes

The Anatolian Black cattle are very hardy and strong animals. They can survive harsh conditions very well and they require less care and poor diet. As they are very hardy and strong animals, so they are highly resistant to parasites and diseases.

All these characteristics give them a high priority for conservation. Average breeding age for the heifers is around 24-28 months. Average male calve birth weight is around 18-20 kg, and around 17-19 kg for the female calve.

The cows are excellent mothers. And they usually do not let her milk down unless they can see their calf. The cows are pretty good milk producers as compared to their smaller body size.

The cows on average can produce up to 1000-1100 kg of milk per lactation. Their milk is of pretty good quality containing about 4.5 percent of fat content.

The Anatolian Black cattle are also pretty good for meat production. They are one of the most important sources of beef in Turkey. Their daily weight gain in feedlots is around 700-900 grams and they can be fattened quickly.

The breed is also pretty good for draught work purposes. However, review full breed profile of the Anatolian Black cattle in the following chart.

Breed NameAnatolian Black
Other NameNative Black Cattle, Anatolian Native and Turkish: Yerli Kara
Breed PurposeMilk, meat, draught
Special NotesWell adapted to native climates, very good for meat production, grow relatively slower, cows are excellent mothers, very hardy, strong, able to adapt to adverse weather conditions, good for draught purpose
Breed SizeSmall
Bulls300-400 kg
Cows200-300 kg
Climate ToleranceNative climates
Coat ColorRaven black
Milk YieldAverage
Country/Place of OriginTurkey

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