Best Performing Italian Dairy Cow Breeds You can Consider

Milkability is an important economic trait that has always been recognized as an economically important trait that may be improved through selection, especially for milking efficiency. Milkability is characterized by milk flow traits, including average milk flow rate, maximum milk flow rate, and total milking time. Milkability improvements lead to reduced management costs for milking through improved efficiency of the automated milking system, which is actually a key determinant of net profit.

Like in many other countries, after the Second World War, cattle breeding in Italy became much more cosmopolitan, which resulted in exceptionally specialized breeds. Among Italian cows raised for milk production, several foreign breeds present over ninety percent of the official production, while approximately twenty indigenous breeds contribute to the remaining share.


Accordingly, the origins of the Burlina are not known. It has even been suggested that it might be related to the Bretonne Pie Noir, a small-breed dairy cow in Brittany, or that it had been imported into Italy by Cimbrian migrants. Burlina cattle, originating in the mountainous regions of the region of the Veneto in south-east Italy, are mainly bred for milk production. They are a dual-purpose breed that is, however, mainly bred for milk production. This breed has been linked with the Bretonne Pie Noir breed of small pied cattle in Brittany, and it is also known as Bassanese, Binda, Boccarda and Pezzata degli altipiani.

It was found that the Burlina cattle were mostly replaced by Friesian cattle. The total population of the breed was 11,283 animals in 1956 but decreased to about 300 animals in 2008.

Burlina is a small fox with a black-and-white striped coat. It is well suited to grazing on poor, marginal mountain pastures, and is robust and durable. Burlina cows produce milk yield comparable to that of other Italian Alpine breeds, and about half that of Friesian cows. Because of their smaller size, they are easier to feed. They are also capable of utilizing poor and fragile mountain pastures.

As the breed is resistant to diseases, it requires less use of antibiotics, leading to the production of good quality milk. The breed is also well known for its resistance to tuberculosis. This is a very good milk producer, and it has a special grass flavor in the milk. The traditional management system is transhumant, with cattle roaming free on high alpine pasture during the summer and being housed in byres where they are fed mostly on pasture.

The milk has comparable levels of protein and fat to the Friesian milk but contains more -casein, which is very suitable for making cheese. Traditionally, cow’s milk is used to make regional cheeses such as the Italian Morlacco del Grappa. Both the cheese and the breed belong to the Ark of Taste program with the Slow Food Foundation.


Traditionally, Holstein cattle, commonly called the Holstein breed, are farmers’ cattle, originating from the Dutch provinces of North Holland and Friesland and Schleswig-Holstein in Northern Germany. They are world-renowned as the world’s highest production farm animals.

Italy produces 1,171,000 t of cheese annually (274,000 t are exported; ISTAT, 2011), which is 6.1% of worldwide cheese production. The amount of butter it produces is 102,400 t (ISTAT, 2011). Italian Holstein-Friesian cows are the most important dairy cattle breed in the world containing 1,128,626 herd-tested cows reared in 12,922 farmlands with an average herd size of 87 cows.

The breed is distributed throughout the country, but most of the animals are found in the north. The Italian dairy industry is a unique one with a unique and specialized structure, creating many kinds of cheese of high value, and in particular, some protected designs that are exclusive to Italy (Pieri, 2010). Thus, the quality of the milk used for cheese production is of great importance in Italy, and milk coagulation properties are of particular importance (Cassandro et al., 2008).

These unique characteristics have been widely investigated in the past few years, and they have been proposed as technological traits (De Marchi et al., 2008; Pretto et al., 2012, 2013) to increase the efficiency in the dairy industry. In addition, MCP can also be rapidly and inexpensively predicted by mid-infrared spectroscopy, which can be used to extract phenotypes from a population.

Holstein cows usually have distinctive markings, in particular black and white or red and white or a piebald pattern, which occurs in rare cases.[3] Some cows have both black and red colouring with white. In addition to the red colouring, this cow is also known for its ‘blue’ coloration. This coloration is derived from the combination of white hairs with black hairs, giving it a bluish tint. Often referred to as blue roan, these sheep produce a staggering 22530 pounds (10,220 kilograms) of milk per year. Of this, 858 pounds (3.7%) are butterfat, and 719 pounds (3.1%) are protein.

When born, a healthy calf will weigh 40 to 50 kg (75–110 pounds). A mature cow will typically weigh between 680–770 kg (1500–1700 pounds), and stand 145–165 cm (58–65 inches) tall at the shoulder. Holstein cows should be bred by 11 to 14 months of age, when they are 317–340 kilograms (700–750 pounds) or 50% of adult weight. Breeders generally plan for Holstein heifers to calve their first time between 21 and 24 months of age and 80% of their adult body weight. The gestation period is approximately nine and a half months.

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