The Piedmontese breed cattle or razz bovina Piemontese as they are referred to in Italy, were bred within the secluded north-west Italian regions known as Piedmont.
This is an area which has naturally been protected by the Alps mountainous range. This region was originally populated by a prehistoric European cattle breed known as the Auroch or Bos Primigenius.
Twenty five thousand years later the Zebu or Bos Indicus cattle breed commonly found in the tropical regions of India began migrating from Pakistan.
The explorers and cattle men traveling with the herds during this period were forced to rest within the valleys of the Piedmont regions to utilize the natural shelter offered by the Alpine barriers against the cold weather.
This resulted in the blending of the two breeds of cattle which over thousands of years developed into the Piedmontese breed we now see today.
The coat of the Piedmontese calves at first birth are often found appearing fawn in their color gradually turning to a grayish white as they mature.
The Piedmontese cattle breed over the years have been developed by a gradual process of natural selection after which they were domesticated and eventually subjected to a selective breeding process during the late 19th century as a result of the introduced postpartum hypertrophic muscle growth trait or double muscling which was actively being used by breeders. The first Piedmontese herd-book was established in the year 1877.
The Piedmontese cattle are recognized as a dual cattle breed or a breed of cattle bred for two purposes.
Thus they have been bred over the years for their production of meat, as beef often giving yield to a premium quality beef in addition to the cattle being bred for the purpose of dairy products, as the milk produced by the Piedmontese breed cow has been used in the production of a number of renown cheese sold throughout Italy including, Toma Piedmontese, Castelmango, Bra and Raschera.
The current herds of Piedmontese cattle found in Piedmont Italy are numbered as over 280,000 head of cattle.
Piedmontese beef has been recognized as beef containing no more than two inactive myostatin genes which is often seen as the gene containing the protein responsible for the underdevelopment of larger muscles.
Cattle breeds possessing the inactive type of this protein gene are generally seen by the livestock industry as having an economic benefit. This genetic trait allows the Piedmontese beef to produce a higher lean to fat ratio in addition to becoming less marbled with the general lack of connective tissue cut from red meat than the beef produced from other cattle breeds.
The myostatin gene when active behaves as a type of inductor prone to stimulate muscle growth within the Piedmontese cattle breed. In an inactive state this particular protein has been found to block the muscles within the cattle breed from developing.
However when the gene is active within the breed the Piedmontese cattle muscular development is no longer restricted resulting in what has been generally observed as “double muscling.”
The Piedmontese beef found within the United States of America is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture or USDA.
This department requires that registered organizations involved in the sale of beef produced from the Piedmontese breed cattle adequately meet the set requirements including detailed labeling showing the nutritional verification prerequisites.
This Piedmontese which beef has been found to be extremely low in fatty content and calorie count has also been found to contain a much higher protein value in addition to a high percentage of the Omega 3 fatty acids than the beef produced from other breeds.
Due to the genetic influence of the myostatin gene, the Piedmontese beef has been observed to maintain a certain consistency in its lean quality than the carcass used by the traditional breed.
Today the Piedmontese breed still exists within Italy where they are bred for their dual-purpose.
The breed first made its way within the United States in the fall of 1979 as they were imported from Italy by the PBL Co-operative of Saskatchewan located within Canada. Further imports throughout the 1980s resulted in the breed being widely adopted within the United States.
The frequency in the number of imports of genetically produced material respective to the Piedmontese breed including embryos and seaman within the 1990s resulted in an increasing amount of pure-breeds available for herd selection by a cattle men and ranchers.
Today there are more than 2,000 registered pure-bred Piedmontese breed cattle found within the United States.
With the increasing development and increasing availability in genetic technology American family ranchers over the years have been able to raise cattle breeds within the United States of America for Certified Piedmontese, thus providing a healthy, lean delicious type of beef.
The Piedmontese Association of the United States today organized in the year 1984 and established in 1987 today remains a successful non-profit organization firmly promoting, encouraging, regulating the breeding practices and developing the Piedmontese breed cattle within the United States of America.
The association today is recognized as the largest existing registry for the Piedmontese breed within the United States, observing more than 12,000 heads of cattle of the breed within their registry database.
The Piedmontese Association of the United States provides its active members with benefits including, cattle registration and transfers, buying and selling of stock for their herds, the arranging of cattle shows and educational events among several other services assisting Piedmontese breeders throughout the United States.
Beaver Creek Farm located in the northeastern regions of Georgia with its active commercial herd offers the Piedmontese breed cattle for ranchers and cattle men seeking to breed the Piedmontese cattle.
The Farm has a high percentage of Italian bred Piedmontese pedigrees known as Anaborapi which are to date the only known source of Piedmontese semen used in the development of the breed.
Sandies Creek Farm located in Nixon Texas raises full and pure-blood Piedmontese through their embryo program to effectively provide ranchers and cattlemen with an adequate seed stock for their herds.