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Allgauer Original Braunvieh -cow- Germany

Allgäuer Original Braunvieh
(local/other name)

(most common name):
Braunvieh alter Zuchtrichtung
(transboundary/brand name):
Original German Brown
local/other name (English):
• German Brown (old type)
• Old Braunvieh
• Original Allgäu
• Original Braunvieh

The Allgäuer Original Braunvieh are German Brown cattle of the dual-purpose type that descend from the Allgäuer and Schweizer Torfrind.

In 200 BC, the Torfrind were identified (in what is now Switzerland) as a bos brachyceros type of small, elegant cattle with fine limbs and a short horn. Over many centuries, the Torfrind developed into the Swiss Brown.

The Allgäuer was an ancient native grey-brown breed that originated in the Allgäu Alps and became extinct during the late 19th century.

Both played a part in the development of the German Brown, however, the German Brown has now been turned into Germany’s version of the Brown Swiss.

Luckily, in 1949, artificial insemination began to be used and lots of semen was stored before the Brown Swiss took over the German Brown bloodline. (That takeover started In 1966 when Brown Swiss bulls from North America were brought to Germany for breeding with the German Brown.)

In 1980, the last living insemination bull from existing original German Brown stock was slaughtered; his name was ‘Amlex’.

By the mid-1980s, the decrease in numbers of original German Brown cows had become a real problem; living cows were usually ten years old or more, and young cattle were extremely rare. The original German Brown stock was about to be completely lost just like the Allgäuer.

But, in 1987, German Brown breeders from Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg obtained recognition for ‘Original Braunvieh’ — literally ‘Original Brown Cattle’ — an international term for the German Brown without Brown Swiss blood (in English it’s the ‘Original German Brown’).

Then, in 1988, the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Original Braunvieh (Working Community for Original Brown Cattle) was founded and private rescue purchases of Original German Brown cattle began.

In 1995, the Allgäuer Original Braunvieh Zuchtverein (Allgäu Alps Original Brown Cattle Breeding Club) was established and obtained state support for record keeping and establishing the ancestry of reported stock.

Starting in 1996, sperm samples from Original German Brown bulls were accessed and a small population of females were impregnated with the different lines available. Young bulls from these targeted matings were then made available for more artificial insemination.

In 2003, the Arbeitskreis Allgäuer Braunvieh (Working Group for Allgäu Alps Brown Cattle) was founded in Baden-Württemberg, Germany with the aim being to preserve the Original German Brown (Braunvieh alter Zuchtrichtung — literally ‘brown cattle older breeding direction’) based on the cow and bull lines from the Allgäu Alps of Bavaria and Wurttemberg.

As of 2017, the Original German Brown cattle population is now divided into two categories:
• original German Brown animals with a proven 0% foreign blood fraction and whose lineage can be traced back to 1969-01-01 (Bavaria) and 1968-01-01 (Baden-Württemberg)
• original German Brown animals with a proven up to 12.5% ​​third-party blood content or original German Brown animals whose pedigree can be reproduced without any gaps up to 1969-01-01 (Bavaria) and 1968-01-01 (Baden-Württemberg)

German to English:
Arbeitsgemeinschaft = working community
Arbeitskreis = working group
Zuchtverein = breeding club
Schweizer = Schwyz (an early variety of Swiss Brown)
Braunvieh alter Zuchtrichtung = brown cattle older breeding direction
Allgäu = Allgäu Alps
Original Braunvieh = Original Brown Cattle

This page was last updated on: 2023-08-08

You can also go to:

My Daily Cow® Germany and read about other German cattle breeds.

The Cow Wall® A-Z Cattle Breed Picture Reference to see other breeds of cattle in the world.