Murnau-Werdenfels cattle

Bos primigenius taurus

Two Murnauer-Werdenfels cows lie one behind the other in front of the viewer and look into the camera. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Endangered
  • Family
    Bovids (Bovidae)
  • Weight
    ♀ 500 – 600 kg, ♂ 850 – 950 kg

From Tyrol to Bavaria

It is believed that monks (especially from Ettal Abbey) introduced the breed to Upper Bavaria from its original habitat in Tyrol. Their present-day name is derived from their new home: the region of Murnau and Werdenfels County (Mittenwald area). These cattle were highly valued by the monks as providers of milk and meat, as well as draught animals.

Hardy and robust

Only about 1,000 of these hardy, robust animals survive today. The breed is therefore classified as highly endangered. It has largely been displaced by the Braunvieh (brown cattle) and Simmental breed that produce significantly higher quantities of milk.

Due to their native habitat, the Murnauer Moos (wetlands), the hooves of the cattle are specially adapted to marshland.


Distribution map Murnau-Werdenfelser