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Tyrolian Grey Cattle

The Tyrolian Grey Cattle are silver to iron-grey, sometimes brownish-grey, with a black muzzle. Darker colour shades occur in the area of the eyes, neck and shoulders as well as on the outer legs. The areas around the muzzle, the lower torso region, the udder and the inside of the legs are lighter. Bulls are darker and often brightly saddled. Another characteristic of this breed are the dark hooves and horns.

Grauvieh auf der Alm

Direction of use

The Tyrolian Grey Cattle are a dual-purpose breed. They can be used as a dairy breed in difficult environmental conditions, as a beef breed in all production situations and for crossbreeding with beef breeds.

Animals of this breed are particularly well suited for „Low Input Systems“ because of their low maintenance, outstanding forage, digestibility, ease of calving, vitality, robust stature and functional udders with an excellent milk quality.

The current breeding goal consists of 25% milk, 20% beef and 60% fitness.

The goal in milk production is 5,000 kg milk with 4.0% fat and 3.4% protein. The goal in beef production is to have good daily weight gains and to produce high quality meat.

Statistics & Distribution

  • Austria: 18 000 animals
  • Breed proportion in Austria: 0.9%

The distribution of this race extends mainly over North and South Tyrol and occasionally over Bavaria. In Switzerland, a smaller and lighter type, known as the „Rätisches Grauvieh“ can be found.


Ø Milk performance: 4,934 kg – 3.97% F – 3.29% P (305 days)

Ø Beef performance:

   Daily weight gain (g)
  200 days 365 days
M 1 081.6 926.9
F 1 006.0 812.3

Control Farms (Herds): 1,402

Height (cm, Ø): 130

Weight (kg, Ø): 580

Animals in control farms: 13,398

Registered cows: 5,118

Origin: Tyrol (A)


1000 B.C.: Ancestors of today`s Tyrolean Grey Cattle were already kept in this region

Birth of Christ: Pliny and Strabo mentioned the good milk yield of the Grey Cattle in their travel report

1879 – 1884: First detailed classification of the pet breed Grey Cattle by F. Kaltenegger in the publication “The cattle of the Austrian Alpine countries”

1896: Establishment of the first livestock breeders` associations

The beginning of organized breeding resulted in a merging of the original breeds “Oberinntaler, Lechtaler and Wipptaler” to the Tyrolian Grey Cattle.

1908: Establishment of a Grey Cattle livestock breeders` association for protecting and promoting the breed, the existence of Grey Cattle was endangered by the mixing of races

1914 - 1918: Reduction of the Grey Cattle population during the 1st World War  

1922: Establishment of Grey Cattle Cooperative Societies

1993: Start of the trademark beef-quality programme “Angelus”

1924: Establishment of the Tyrolian Grey Cattle Breeders’ Association

1933: Definition of a common breeding goal for all breeding matters

1948: Establishment of a station for artificial insemination in Imst, Brennbichl, today`s area of the Agricultural Center West

1967: Introduction of artificial insemination with frozen semen

1969: Construction of the insemination station Birkenberg, Telfs

1993: Start of the trademark beef-quality programme “Angelus”

1994: Recognition of the first Grey Cattle breeding association Vorarlberg; first recognition of a Grey Cattle breeding association outside the Tyrol; Start of work as an Austrian-wide breeding organization

1996: First participation in a federal beef cattle show- St. Peter am Kamersberg, Styria

2004: Opening of the Herd Book for special beef cattle breeding