The Hinterwald, today the smallest cattle breed of central Europe, was able to survive in the southern part of the Black Forest (Large and Small Wiesental, Münstertal, Bernau, Menzenschwand).
Through a century-long process of selection on extreme slopes, with an at times meager fodder supply, these sure-footed, healthy and easily satisfied animals came into being, a breed which in a comparison to body weight (ca. 350 to 450 kg) produces a substantial amount of milk (ca. 3200 kg). Also remarkable is its very fine-fibered flesh. Further characteristics of this fine-featured mountain cow are: good health, undemanding, fertility, easy calving, sure-footed in mountains, longevity and a good roughage utilization. In comparison to the high milkfat breeds, many fewer foot injuries are suffered in the back woods and mountainous regions. The animals are pale-yellow to red speckled, variegated or solid; the head is white, frequently with eye spots. The height of the whithers of the cow is approx. 118 cm, and of the bull 125 cm.
Since 1983 Pro Specie Rara has built up a maintenance breeding program for the Hinterwald. In 1988 the Swiss Hinterwald Breeding Society was founded which today organizes the whole breeding program under its own direction. The main emphases of the activities consist of animal judging, milk production tests and the supply of breeding animals. The compiling of the breeding and herd book is the real centerpiece of its work.
Registries and Breed Associations
Zuchtverband für Fleckvieh und Wäldervieh
Schweizerischer Hinterwälder Zuchtverein, SHZ
Association Suisse d'élevage de la vache d'Hinterwald, ASH
Associazione Svizzera per l'allevamento del bovino di Hinterwald, ASH
CH - 9064 Hundwil
Phone: 071 367 10 81
Fax: 071 367 21 76
Endangered Domestic Animal Breeds 1995, Pro Specie Rara, Engelgasse 12a, CH-9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland, Phone: 41/(0)71/222 74 20, Fax: 41/(0)71/223 74 01. German Translation provided by John te Velde, Associate Professor of German, Oklahoma State University