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The Smart Cross
Gelbvieh Head

Performance Carcass Maternal

Gelbvieh at a Glance

Northern Bavaria, Germany

Reddish-gold to russet, or black. Dilutor gene is carried by some Gelbvieh.

Medium to large, long body with above average muscling Originally horned, the majority now polled.

Medium to late.

Purebred males average 40kg, female average 38kg.

Generally good performers but some care advisable when selecting sires for cross breeding over maiden heifers from smaller breeds.

One of the highest milk procers among beef breeds.

Pre-weaning Pre-weaning growth:
Exceptionally fast, comparable or better than Charolais.

Feed Conversion Efficiency:
One of the most efficient of all breeds.

Very good.

Meat Type:
Lean with a high % of retail yield.

Breed Information:
Gelbvieh were developed in the three Franconian districts of the Northern Bavaria region of Germany in the early 19th century. The "red-yellow Franconian cattle" were developed from several local strains including the Celtic-German Landrace and Heil-Brown cattle. Thus, with stringent sire testing and planned mating programs, Gelbvieh were moulded into a superior dual purpose animal for beef and milk production.

Gelbvieh were selected for carcass traits: length of loin, leanness, early growth and maturity. In Europe, there were far fewer cattle per farm unit and close contact with farm animals ensured that docility and longevity were also part of this formula. All of this, in a golden brown, totally pigmented animal with dark hooves and genitalia. (Pigmentation is a trait which is now believed to reduce problems associated with soft hooves, sunburned udders and cancer eye.) Gelbvieh animals also adapt to most range or climatic conditions.

In addition, Gelbvieh were required to have outstanding maternal traits: fertility, excellent mothering instincts, good udders and prolific milk production. Gelbvieh females meet these requirements and excel in early puberty, quick re-breeding, high milk production, well-developed, structurally correct udders with pigmented teats, strong legs and feet to give them longevity. They will produce a live calf with minimum calving difficulty, and produce high weaning weights every year.

Gelbvieh young stock
Gelbvieh young stock feeding in the North Canterbury snow during June 2008