The Hungarian gray cattle breed (Bos primigenius taurus hungaricus) is a true Hungaricum, an indigenous, legally protected livestock of Hungary. It is one of the most famous Hungarian features of the whole world, with its appearance, its beauty and its original character. Our national pride took place on April 24, 2015 in the Hungarikum collection.
Scientists are still searching their origins, from where they come from, how they came to the Carpathian Basin. There are several different theories. Can be sorted out of them: were the Cossacks brought in? Was it bred in the Carpathian Basin, or did the Hungarians invaded their ancestors during their Western European adventures? Or domesticated in the Middle Ages from the ancient ones? Although its origin is unknown, it is likely that the conquering Hungarians arrived in the Carpathian Basin. Its presence in the Middle Ages has been proven in Hungary (Hankó, 1936).
The richest domestic animal with our own history is here. One of the country's most profitable export items was the 15th to the 17th. century to the medieval development of our country. The Hungarian gray cattle in Europe has been a turning point, almost indigenous to our pets. A 14-15. In the 20th century, demand in Western Europe grew so that it could reach Nuremberg, Augsburg, Munich, Ulm. Flesh was a real "world brand", the Western European slaughterhouses were processed separately, meat was sold in addition to the local beef meat (in German cities it was regulated by law that the slaughterers could only measure Hungarian grey cattle meat on the day of arrival of Hungarian gulp they would replace it with shoddy goods.) The Hajdus drove our greys down to Italy and Moravia. The peak reached the ladder of commerce (rank) in the 17th century, when some estimates indicate that it is approx. 100,000 grey beefs left our country.
Then in the 19th century, much has changed, not the favor of the greys. "Dark ages" were used by Hungarian grey cattle holders. By the end of the 1800s, the Hungarian grey cattle was extensively fed, and breeding of intensive animal breeds of better meat and well-leaved cattle breeds was started in Hungary, which caused a decrease in the number of cattle and exports of grey cattle. Until the mechanization began, the breed had a decisive role in the cultivation of arable land. The decline in grey cattle breeding was attributed to drought in 1863, when a significant number of grey hives were given to the thirst. Their stock has never reached its previous magnitude.
In the years after World War I, the economic crisis that started in 1929, although it increased the demand for extravagant, unprofitable cattle, the number of animals began to increase. However, with the widespread propagation of agriculture mechanization, the demand for greys was eliminated, after the World War II, the leaders did not consider the breed to be important, and the co-operative reorganization was condemned to death. The bottom line was in the 1960s. The domestic stock dropped to only three state farms, all six bulls and 200 cows. The remaining shells of the breeders, collected at the last minute, often doing breeding work against the then rules, saved the species from extinction.
As a result of this professional reconciliation, since 1982, annual host meetings have been organized, and in 1991, when it was possible, the Hungarian Grey Cattle Breeders Association was established as the first NGO in Hungary. The association then started to grow rapidly, now it has a nationwide size of hundreds of active members. The breeding program started in the 1980s is successful. The importance of this variety is increasing in proportion to the number of flocks.
Perhaps this is enough for the historical overview of Hungarian grey cattle, let us now pay attention to its appearance and its attributes and to the related traditions still up to date. It is very intelligent and unpretending and extremely resistant to diseases. The cow is easy to drop, she is very clinging to her calf, she is being eagerly guarded.
The color of the animals varies depending on age. Grey beef calves are not born grey, they are "pirugs" at birth, and we differentiate them in several shades. The most commonly occurring color is dark-haired, pirrous or light-haired. The calves of the calves light up for 2-3 months, then they begin to grow dark and they are full of ages of 4-6 months. The adult grey cattle are found in hues ranging from silver to dark cabbage. The bull's "horn" color usually develops at 3-4 years, then their neck, chest, and "forehead" become black. Then the bulls, including dark circles around the eyes, come up.
Coat color may vary from season to season: top coat is short, thick, straight, thick and long in winter. The animals are darker in winter and their coat contains of several shades. Their color is the most beautiful after the spring washes. The ox's horns can be up to a meter, then the bulls and the cows follow the horn length ladder. The bulls put their buttons down at the end of the horn: they do not come up for fashion, but to protect the horn from swirling, so they have less chance of harming each other.
Apart from the excellent appearance of the Hungarian grey, almost every bit of the animal can be utilized. The people of old times made mildew of their bones, candles from the tallow, boots from the leather, dresses, scarves and whips. Grey horns served as an excellent basis for horns, pots, salt baskets, combs, buttons. It produces high-quality, quality meat, excellent calf-breeding ability, high genetic and aesthetic value. Research findings confirm the outstanding nutritional value of the "Hungarian Grey Cattle" meat and the taste and quality of all other beef. The content of pigment and dry matter is higher, its drip loss is minimal, the taste reminds to the wild meat. Thanks to extensive feeding, the fatty acid composition of the meat is more favorable to human nutrition than for intensively kept beef varieties.
Due to the wormhole in Western Europe, the only BSE-free grey bovine meat, which is naturally derived from vegetable food, has been appreciated, which, due to the slower growth of the animal, is more compact and more meaningful than other beef. Due to the wormhole in Western Europe, the only BSE-free gray bovine meat, which is naturally derived from vegetable food, has been appreciated, which, due to the slower growth of the animal, is more compact and more meaningful than other beef.
Individuals who have slaughtered reach the parameters of intensive fattening cattle at the ages of 16-18 months at age 3-3.5.
The current value of the Hungarian grey cattle meat - protected by a protected geographical indication against all counterfeiting - is determined by the market. It produces high-quality organic meat under the right conditions. This variety can be said to be a major organic producer of meat, because our country gives the full amount of raw material to the large processor that produces large quantities of baby and adult cans in several European countries. As cascade meat and products in the Carpathian Basin and in other countries, they are becoming more and more wanted after it gets well known today. Modern gastronomy begins to explore and use the Hungarian grey cattle again. There are also excellent books with recipes that are based on the flesh of this noble animal. At many gastronomic festivals, cooking meals from their grey meat. To the Hungarian grey cattle there are many traditions that are still the basis of many programs. Events take place in the keeping of gray cattle, such as the expedition ceremony and the recovery feast. These festivals will be held in several parts of the country. The National Gulyásverseny and Pásztortalálkozó is organized by the Association of Hungarian Grey Cattle Breeders.
These events are also outstanding from breeding and tradition conservation aspects. It is possible to cultivate Hungarian culture and guard the traditions of the events. It is also possible to spread the way of keeping the indigenous Hungarian grey cattle breed as well as the lives, traditions and work of the goulashes that care for them.