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German Brown
(most common name in English)

(most common name):
(transboundary/brand name):
• Brown Swiss
(local/other name):
Deutsches Braunvieh

The German Brown originated in the Allgäu Alps and descended from three ancient native grey-brown breeds:
Allgäu (Allgäuer) - South-Central Germany and Vorarlberg area in Austria
Württemberg Brown (Württembergisches Braunvieh) - South Württemberg, Germany
Tirol Grey Brown Mountain (Graubraunes Tiroler Gebirgsrind) - several valleys on the border of Germany and Austria

1857–1866 - Europe suffered devastating losses due to rinderpest (cattle plague)
1893 - importation of Swiss bulls into Germany for breed improvement began
1926 - consortium of breed societies combined the above three breeds and, along with continued use of Swiss Brown bulls, developed the German Brown
1949 - artificial insemination began in the German Brown; artificial insemination provided better utilization of valuable bulls and also reduced breeding costs
1966 - due to changing economic conditions, Brown Swiss bulls from North America were brought in for breeding towards a larger, more milk-centered dual-purpose breed (without losing sight of its meat output)
1982 - German Brown genetically consisted of over 50% Brown Swiss blood

As of 2017, the German Brown is Germany’s version of the Brown Swiss.

However, a small group of breeders is continuing to breed the Original German Brown with support from the state.

This page was last updated on: 2023-05-17

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.