The Eringer ( French: Hérens ) is a domestic breed of cattle that is mainly kept in the canton of Valais . It is one of the old breeds of domestic animals. It is named after the Eringertal ( French Val d'Hérens ).
The Eringer is one of the smallest cattle breeds in Europe. The animals have a dark red to black coat. Pied animals are rare, but due to the red component there can be mixed forms, e.g. B. bright snouts or red backs and foreheads. It is characterized by the short and broad head with a concave forehead line. The animals are strongly muscled and very nimble, which explains the excellent mountain mobility. Both sexes have strong horns that grow black at birth and light after around 18–24 months. This results in the typical Eringer horns, which are white at the base, which can be 5–8 cm in diameter, and taper off in black tips.
The cattle are pleasant and calm to deal with and have a very strong herd cohesion. There is a strict hierarchy in the pasture and in the barn, even among the calves. The animals are very curious, but defend themselves against threats.
The height at the withers is 125 to 134 centimeters in bulls . When fully grown, they weigh between 650 and 750, rarely over 1000 kilograms. The height at the withers of the cows is between 118 and 128 centimeters. Their weight is 500 to 600, rarely more than 800 kilograms. The cow with the highest official fighting weight ever weighed in Valais weighed 867 kilograms (April 2009). They are considered a meat-based dual -purpose breed . Their milk yield is 3200 kilograms per year, but mostly significantly less, since the amount of milk and meatiness are inversely correlated. Because it is designed as a dual-purpose breed, both dairy farming and suckler cow husbandry can be carried out.
The cattle are considered undemanding and adaptable. Thanks to their surefootedness, you can also graze on mountain pastures or very steep alpine meadows . They usually calve independently and without any problems. Due to the low level of performance and the general robustness, illnesses (fixed / calcium deficiency, mastitis, claw problems etc.) and injuries are rare.
The ancestors of this breed are said to have come to the area of today's Valais with the Romans . However, a breed standard for this ancient breed was not established until 1884. In 1917 the establishment of its own breeding association took place.
Using Eringer cattle, other cattle breeds that have played a role in the Alpine region have been bred several times. For example, the Tuxer beef , the Evolèner and the Pustertaler Schecken are said to have descended from the Eringer. However, the numbers of Eringer cattle have declined since the 1960s. In 2000 the population was around 13,500 animals. Purebred bulls that are used for insemination are among other things at an insemination station in Mülligen .
The cow fight
Eringer cows are considered to be a breed in which the cows also have a high potential for aggression . Both cows and heifers are allowed to fight against each other in five weight classes in spring. Winning animals achieve high sales prices. These cow fights are now a major tourist attraction in Valais and the reason for many keepers to keep these animals as a sideline.
Cow fights between Eringer cows are now one of the tourist attractions in Valais
Eringer beef at the Aletsch Glacier