The South African Pinzgauer Breed
More Meat per Hectare
Meer Vleis per Hectaar
Home About the Breed Contact Cattle Options (PDF Farm to Fork (PDF)
The oldest European Breed
Home About the Pinzgauer Breed Contact Cattle Options for Investment (PDF) Farm to Fork (PDF)
© Elfi Frylinck, 2010
Pinzgauers in Southern Africa
Pinzgauers in Austria
The ancestors of the Pinzgauers first came to the alpine, central European area around 400 to 600 BC with Celtic immigrants who settled in this area for its salt and green pastures. The Celts developed into exceptional herdsmen and more than 1500 years later, when the Celts were long gone, their cattle still was popular with Bavarian and other migrants for their hardiness and willingness to work. Around 1600 a trader reported about trading with “Pinzger Bulls”. The Pinzgauer cattle of today were known under their regional names until the 19th century. It was in 1846 when the name “Pinzgauer” was first officially used for the whole breed. In 1856 the Pinzgauer attracted international attention for the first time at the World Exhibition in Paris where 7 of the 12 cattle shown were awarded major awards.
The Pinzgauers were first brougt into Southwest Africa (Namibia) in 1902. The South African farmers were impressed with the Pinzgauer’s adaptability and qualities and soon large numbers of breeding cattle were on their way to South Africa. The Pinzgauer Cattle Breeders’ Society of South Africa affiliated with the SA Stud Book and Livestock Improvement Association (SASBLIA) in 1962. At the time there were about thirty breeders with more than 2 000 registered cattle. It is also interesting to note that in 1967 this Society decided on compulsory participation in the National Beef Cattle Performance Testing Scheme (NBCPTS). It was the first breeders’ society to take this decision. The breed proved to be a phenomenal success under the harsh local conditions, to the extent that South Africa now has the two largest Pinzgauer herds of full blood Pinzgauers in the world. The terrain and climate in Africa could not be more different to thowse of the original native Alpine regions.
         Why Pinzgauers?
Even the Pinzgauer is a Dual Purpose breed, here in South Africa it is mainly bred for beef. Pinzgauers are highly fertile. Heifers are early maturing and calve at an early age, mostly before they are 30 months old. Obviously, the most important economic factor in any breeding program is reproduction. When it comes to male fertility, Pinzgauers possess the two most important qualities in a breeding bull: high sperm count and libido. Pinzgauers are well known for their longevity. Bulls continue to breed up to 11 to 12 years of age. Their strong legs and hard dark hooves carry them through many successful working seasons. Cows however, breed up to the age of 16 to 18 years, but cows breeding up to 21 years of age are no exception. Pinzgauer breeders participate regularly in Phases C and D testing at the National Beef Cattle Performance Testing Scheme (NBCPTS) in the selection of suitable breeding stock for future generations. Bulls perform in the higher categoreis at the central performance testing stations and always gain in the region of 1900g or more per day, while maintaining a feed conversion ratio (FCR) of 5:1 and better. In the 2006 testing period the Pinzgauers rated the best out of 21 breeds tested with an average ADG of 2.012 and FCR of 5.37 with a final weight of 499kg.
More meat per hectare  Meer vleis per hectaar About the Breed About the Pinzgauer Breed