About the Breed
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A FEW FACTS
Romagnola is pronounced RO-MUH- NO-LUH
They come from Italy but are not Chianina
They are extremely muscular but are not double-muscled
Calves are born small and tubular
HIGH POINTS OF ROMAGNOLA CATTLE
Romagnola breeders are committed to producing genetics that will advance your herd and help meet the needs of today’s beef industry. Maternal excellence, carcass traits, adaptability, and growth potential are just a few highlights of the breed. Listed below are a few more high points to consider:
Ability to retain black hide color on Angus-based cows
Sweat glands allow them to thrive in hot climates
Hardy and highly adaptable in high altitude and colder climates
Sound feet and leg structure
Early maturing with rapid growth
Maximum hybrid vigor when used on British-bases cows
Highly palatable beef due to added tenderness gene, a genetic advantage carried on into the crossbreeds
Origin of the Romagnola
The Romangnola breed of cattle derives from the Bos primigenius podolicus, a wild ox which lived on the Italian peninsula and, to a great extent also, from the Bos primigenius nomadicus, a bovine originating in the Euro-Asian steppes, which came to Italy during the fourth century A.D. with the Gothic invasion led by Aginulf.
The Romagnola therefore combines the characteristics of both major types of Aurochs, the ancient wild cattle which were the forebears of the modern Bos Taurus and Bos Indicus cattle breeds.
These primitive beasts gave rise to several breeds with similar characteristics throughout Italy. Common traits of these breeds are lyre-shaped horns, black pigmented skin, white or greyish coat and general conformation. In northeastern Italy the amalgamation of Bos primigenius podolicus and Bos primigenius nomadicus saw the formation of a new breed. Since this region, comprising the provinces of Ravenna, Forl and Rimini was known as Romagna, the breed acquired the name Romagnola.
For centuries the main purpose of these animals was to assist man in tilling the fertile plains, with the production of beef as a secondary consideration. The fertile soils and high quality forage contributed significantly to the evolution towards a progressively more muscular type while the continued use of Romagnolas as living tractors ensured their structural soundness and dynamic traits. During the past century the mechanization of agriculture has seen the role of the Romagnola directed specifically into beef production.
The man responsible for the definite change in this direction was Leopoldo Tosi, who developed the first nucleus of selectively bred Romagnola cattle in the mid 1800s in San Mauro Pascoli on the estate of the Counts of Torlonia. This initial herd became the focal point for the entire breed. Over a relatively short period great progress was made such that by the year 1900 the Romagnola was able to win first prize as best beef breed, ex equo, with Herefords at the Paris International Agricultural Fair.
The rapid growth, early maturity and superior fertility are just a few of the traits that contribute to the success of Romagnola cattle. Their balanced development greatly contributes to their compact structure and well-expressed muscle development.
The Romagnola are among the largest of beef breeds. Cattle are very muscular over the loins and hips as well as through their shoulders and lower thighs. This structure was originally sought after for draft and is now attracting attention for meat processing.
Romagnola cattle have a primarily white coat with shades of gray concentrated around the eye sockets, ears, neck, and thighs. Their coat is dependent on the season. In winter months, their hair becomes much thicker and darkens in color. Their summer hair coat is much shorter and lighter. This trait makes them adaptable in almost any climate.