Around the year 500 A.D., Alpine herdsmen who ran their cattle on small, widely scattered, rocky pastures had begun to develop a breed of red and white cattle from the native red Bavarian cattle. These early cattlemen selected animals that could withstand the harsh conditions of the Alpine mountains and still produce meat and milk. The name Pinzgauer derives from the district of Pinzgau in Austria near the Italian border and appears for the first time in documents of the 1600’s. Herd books dated in the 1700’s show that selective breeding had been going on for some time. There are records of exportation of Pinzgauer cattle to Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia in the 1820’s. In the early 1900’s a large number of breeding cattle were exported to South Africa which has the second largest herd of fullblood animals in the world. Pinzgauer cattle were first imported into Canada in 1972 and to the United States in 1974.
Pinzgauers are considered by many International Animal Scientists to be the "standard for genetic purity". The first four head of Pinzgauer were imported into Canada in September 1972. Austrian Fullbloods were first imported to the USA in 1976. Live animals, frozen embryos, and semen all have been imported to establish fullblood herds and to upgrade the Purebred Pinzgauers. Pinzgauer as we know them today are the result of rigid performance and registry demands. The American Pinzgauer Association has a breeding-up program which allows a producer to breed up to Purebred Pinzgauer (7/8 for females, 15/16 for bulls) by starting with commercial cows and using Pinzgauer bulls.
Although small in total number of head in the U.S., Pinzgauers have been included in studies at the U.S.D.A. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay, Nebraska for many years. These studies have shown that Pinzgauers produce meat that is among the most tender of any beef breed and routinely exceeds other breeds in juiciness and flavor. Because of the enzyme makeup of these animals, the meat retains its tenderness without the use of artificial chemical processes. Additionally, Pinzgauer steers in the feedlot show above average gains and minimal health problems.
American Pinzgauer Association
PO Box 1080
Kiowa, Colorado 80117