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Old German black pied cattle

Old German black pied cattle

The Old German black pied cattle on Meyer`s farm are true rarities. There are only about 60 of these breeding worldwide anymore.

foodgrass, hay
size152 cm (shoulder height)
weight500 - 650 kg (cow), 1000 - 1150 (bull)
breeding time280 days
lifetimeup to 35 years in captivity
Zoo worldsMeyer's Farm
Living in a mixed enclosure withExmoor pony

Real rarities

Real rarities

Black pied cattle in their modern breeding form are the most widely spread species worldwide. But Hannover Zoo’s Old German black pied cattle belong to a rare and seriously endangered species.

Repeated meals

Repeated meals

Cattle have very flexible tongues. When eating, cows poke them out of the side of their mouths, twist them around tufts of plants and pull them up. While we humans chew and swallow our food, cows chew their food several times. This happens most often while they are lying down. Food from the upper stomach is squeezed back up the oesophagus, surplus fluids are swallowed and the real ruminating begins. Each day a cow ruminates 10-15 times, about 30 minutes of every mealtime.

Domestic animals - in danger of becoming extinct

Domestic animals - in danger of becoming extinct

At first this sounds illogical, for domestic animals do not depend on a special habitat like other endangered species. They can live just as well on any farm. But today’s farms are almost industrial enterprises and so their animals also have to be specialists. Some cattle supply large amounts of meat and are bred for bulky bodies, while others have giant udders to produce many litres of milk for human consumption. Endangered domestic animals are yesterday’s all-rounders; they can do many things, but nothing particularly well. Therefore hardly any farmer wants them today - and so they are threatened with extinction.