Информационная система по разнообразию домашних животных (ИС-РДЖ)

Cika Cattle: A Comeback Story

Cika is the only Slovenian indigenous breed of cattle. The current population originates from local red cattle, improved with Mölltaler cattle breeds, an extinct Austrian breed. The breed eventually risked extinction through genetic dilution, due to continuous improving and crossing with other breeds, such as Pinzgauer, Simmental and Brown Swiss. By the late 1990s, fewer than 60 Cika cattle were recognized in the herdbook and urgent action was needed to prevent the loss.

Systematic conservation procedures started in early 2000s to save the important genetic resource. Various breeders in the mountain farms had conserved around 300 animals of the original Cika cattle and introduction of these animals into the herdbook provided a nucleus of “purebred” Cika cattle.

Today, the Cika population has increased to around 4.000 heads and became very popular among breeders because of it’s small body frame, coat color pattern, early maturity, longevity, disease resistance, ease of calving, and adaptation to grazing in mountain pastures. Although Cika cattle were traditionally kept for milk production and were actually quite efficient regarding lower body weight, today most of cows are reared in the cow-calf system for beef production. Today, Cika produce an excellent high quality beef from the pastures. Finally, the ecosystem services provided by the Cika are gaining recognition, as its grazing is essential for maintenance biodiversity in the Slovenian mountainous.