Other Names: Del Cubante
The Marchigiana breed originated in the Marche and surrounding provinces of Italy near
Rome. This area is typified by rough terrain and the available feed is often less than
ideal. The breed now makes up about 45% of Italy's total cattle population.
There seems to be considerable differences in opinion as to the exact origin of the
breed. According to The Meaty Marchigiana, a leaflet published by the American
International Marchigiana Society, they were brought into the area by the Barbarians after
the fall of Rome in the fifth century. Anther version, put forth by Dr. Briggs in Modern
Breeds of Livestock, is that it is a relatively new breed, being differentiated as
late as 1933 and known locally at the time as the Improved Marche. According to this
version, the indigenous stock of the area had been intermixed with the Chianina and two other varieties of mountain cattle.
Selection then followed for the large type of cattle which were desired on the lower and
more fertile slopes of the region where forage was more abundant.
The breed resembles the Chianina in color and
general conformation. They are large and quite muscular but have relatively refined bone
structure. They are a short-haired breed that varies in color from light gray to almost
white. The skin is pigmented and the tongue, muzzle, and external opening are black. The
tail switch is dark and they are usually dark around the eyes. The medium-sized horns are
black at the tip, white in the middle, and have a yellowish cast at the base and usually
curve forward in bulls and upward in females. Due to the introduction of the poll gene
from foundation females used in grading up, percentage cattle are often selected for the
polled trait in the United States.
The legs are more moderate in length than those of the Chianina. The selection in Italy has been effective in establishing a
breed that seems to reach sexual maturity early, has easy calving and good fertility. The
cattle have also been selected to grow rapidly and utilize feed efficiently. The
dispositions are said to be mild under the variety of conditions under which hey have been
Briggs, H.M. & D.M. Briggs. Modern Breeds of Livestock. Fourth Edition. Macmillan
Publishing Co. 1980
Mason, I.L. World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds. Third Edition. C.A.B International.
Promotional materials: American International Marchigiana Society
American International Marchigiana Society