Burlina Cattle – Genetic characterization and founder effect



Burlina Cattle the history of this race is unknown but, historians believe it is derived from the Black and White races of northern Europe.

The Burlina race is now, in small numbers in some regions of Italy. It is established mainly in the plains, but reaches the lower slopes of the mountains.

Apparently, it is derived from the painted races of Northern Europe and came to these areas with emigration since Roman times.

There are very few pure specimens justify in the provinces of Treviso, Vicenza and Verona. In 1930, its number reached 15.000 head of cattle of this breed.

Already for the entrance of the first and second world war the number of this species was reducing. For the 1950s the population of this breed was 11.000.

And by the end of 2010 there were only 300 head of cattle of this species. The Burlina race was officially recognized in 1980, when the Register of Autochthonous Breeds was established.

Characteristic Detalis of Burlina Cattle:

Burlina cattle is a resistant breed able to survive in temperate climates, and climates with heavy rainfall. The cloak is black brindle, with black covering most of the body.

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A white star on the forehead is characteristic, although some white spots may appear on the back and sides.

This color is always irregularly distribute in the belly, legs and tail. While the hair is short, thin and shiny. You may also like to read Shorthorn Cattle.

The head is of medium length and concave between the orbital arcs. The nose is large and is surround by an irregular spot of white hair.

Also the horns open outward, but bend forward in the male and upward in the female. In addition, the horns in both the male and the female when they are young are black.

But over the years they take on a yellowish color with black pythons, and they have a black tip. The body is long and the back is narrow.

Also the lumbar region is well forme and the hindquarters are rectangular, but descend in decline from the spine. The ribs are well arch but the depth of the body is variable.

While the udder is well shape, globular, with relatively large nipples, and is cover by fine, soft hair. While The breed is raise primarily for its milk.

This breed yields an average yield of 2.500 kilograms per year for mountain cows. As regards the cows in the plains, the annual yield is 2.500 to 3.000 kilograms.

The bulls measure around 160 centimeters and the weight is around 750 kg. While the cows of this species reach 140 centimeters and the weight is between 550 kg.


Although the Burlina Cattle breed is a double-fitness breed, it is highly prize for the quality of its milk.

Even as the diet of this breed is based on grass and grazing, the milk has a very characteristic flavor. That is why the milk of this breed is uses for the production of Morlacco cheese.


Burlina Cattle is a breed prize by breeders. And this is because maintenance costs are low. You may also like to read Galloway Cattle.

The feeding of this race is done with grazing, and can feed on normal pastures even in very precarious areas with little grass. In the same way, it can feed in mountainous areas.

In summer breeders prefer to keep this breed with grazing. But in times of winter they are kept in stables, and their diet is base on hay, herbs and cereals.

Special Characteristic:

There is a sustained tendency to subject Burlina cattle to absorption crossings with Brown Swiss or Friesian cattle.

Burlina Cattle is a breed that is resistant to both sudden changes in climate and different diseases. In addition, this breed is strong against tuberculosis.

Because this breed has a good immune system it is not necessary to use antibiotics. And because of this the milk of this breed is produce with good quality.

Another characteristic for which it is value is this breed is by its natural instinct to be a mother. You may also like to read Ayrshire Cow.

As a reference: Wikipedia


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