Vogelsberg mountain cattle

Did you know……?

that the Vogelsberg gave its name to a breed of cattle?

The Red Vogelsberg mountain cattle, also known as Vogelsberg cattle, is a registered herdbook breed and today, in times of a refocusing on regional products and healthy animal management, is once again a sought-after meat supplier.

But this was not always the case, only a fortunate circumstance is to be thanked for the fact that a sufficient number of animals are once again grazing in the meadows of the low mountain ranges. A chance finding of frozen semen in an insemination station helped to rebuild the population. Only 20 females could be found for breeding. Meanwhile, a population of approx. 300 cows exists again in Hesse. Displaced by modern agriculture, they threatened to become extinct and to be lost as a gene reserve. Compared to the high-performance breeds bred for milk yield, they are smaller in stature, have a height at withers of 130 - 145 cm, weigh between 500 and 1000 kg and can live up to 40 years.

The Red Mountain Cattle is a monochrome red to reddish-brown cattle breed, hence the name. They are optimally adapted to life in the low mountain ranges, are frugal, robust, sociable and good feed converters. In former times they were milk producers, meat suppliers and working animals (draught animals). Their origin is said to go back to the Celts. Today they are mainly used as landscape conservationists on the mountain (mowing) meadows to preserve the cultural landscape. Since 1983, an association has taken care of the preservation of the old and endangered domestic animal breed: "Verein zur Erhaltung und Foerderung des Roten Hoehenviehs e. V."


Cover photo: Susanne Jost

Photo Vogelsberger Kuh: E. L. Leithiger: „Das Vogelsberger Rind und seine Zucht“, Alsfeld 1895