Kranky Kids® home page
My Daily Cow®
Burlina -cow- Italy

(most common name)
(transboundary/brand name)

(local/other name):
• Asiago
• Bassanese
• Binda
• Boccarda
• Pezzata degli altipiani

The Burlina is found mainly in the the mountainous area of the Veneto region in northeastern Italy. Its name is not related to any geographical area; it may come from a word used in a local dialect.

No one knows for certain how the Burlina breed began. One hypothesis is that they started with animals that had been brought through the Russian plains and the Caucasus Mountains by nomadic populations who then came into Veneto to trade.

Another possibility is that they were brought by the Cimbri, an ancient Germanic tribe that originated in the Jutland peninsula of Denmark (also known as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula).

Recent microsatellite studies confirm a genetic closeness to the Holstein-Friesian. This is not surprising since at one time the Burlina was almost brought to the verge of extinction due to the introduction of higher-yielding breeds, especially the Holstein-Friesian. A Burlina herdbook was not established until 1985.

Burlina are small, rustic dairy animals that are known to be excellent grazers, highly adaptive to the rigors of the area’s climate, and very self-sufficient when calving.

Burlina have all the features of Alpine dairy breeds, including: a small head, protruding eyes, extreme hardiness and a remarkable ability to thrive on rough pastures while continuing to be a good milker.

The fat and protein proportions of Burlina milk is similar to Friesian milk. Burlinas do have a lower milk yield than Friesians but are still valued for having a higher incidence of the favored kappa-casein BB genotype, plus higher fertility and a longer lifespan.

Cheeses made from Burlina milk include: Morlacco del Grappa, Asiago d’Allevo, Caciotta, Bastardo del Grappa and Burlino.

(Italian) Pezzata degli altipiani = Pied Highland

Burlina -bull- Italy

This page was last updated on: 2023-08-12

You can also go to:

My Daily Cow® Italy and read about other Italian cattle breeds.

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