The Pinzgauer originates from the Pinzgau region in Austria and has been around since 400AD. Pinzgauer cattle were first imported to Africa in 1902 to the former South-West Africa – now known as Namibia. It was in Namibia that the late Mr. Bertie van Zyl (founder of ZZ2 and former president of the International Pinzgauer Breeders’ Association) first saw these splendid animals and was so impressed with the cattle breed that in 1962 he imported the first Pinzgauers to South Africa. The offspring of these Pinzgauers still graze and dwell the Mooketsi valley, Limpopo where the ZZ2 farming conglomerate is based.
The Pinzgauer is known for its distinctive colour pattern has a dark chestnut brown coat with a white back, white flanks and underbelly. They have a medium frame build with good breadth, depth and immense beef capacity. Pinzgauers are renowned for their longevity and bulls continue to breed up to twelve years of age. Cows have a lifespan between 16 and 18 years and some live up to 21 years.
The Pinzgauer is a dual-purpose breed that will produce both quality beef and good milk yields. Pinzgauer beef is tender with superior intra-muscular fat dispersal better known as beef marbling qualities. Cows perform well in the dairy industry with high milk yields with high protein and butterfat content. They have an excellent walking-ability to graze over large areas. Pinzgauer cows have exceptional mothering qualities and their high quality milk yields ensure a healthier and heavier calf. They also take on roles as “mama-cows” where a single Pinzgauer cow will raise several orphaned calves in a season providing sufficient milk and protecting them as her own.
Reproduction and fertility are the two most essential economic factors in a successful breeding plan. Heifers mature early and are expected to calve before 37 months according to breed standards. Pinzgauer bulls display signs of masculinity early in life. When it comes to male fertility the Pinzgauer bulls have a high sperm count and a healthy libido. Despite their aggressive breeding habits Pinzgauer bulls are docile and easy to handle and train for show purposes. These exceptional bulls also have superior gain ability and feed conversion ratios. The South African Pinzgauer is mainly used for beef breeding but milk