The Brown Carpathian cattle bears genes of two ancient indigenous cattle, "mokan" and "ryzhka", which settled the mountainous region of Ukraine centuries ago. It was then cross-bred with Swiss cattle, Montafon and Hornoin ones, to make it more productive, but performance became better only in sites with high quality feeding. The prolonged crossbreeding led in 1972 to the registration of this population as Brown Carpathian breed.
The Brown Carpathian is a meat and dairy breed characterised by exceptional adaptation to mountain conditions. As it is one of few breeds resistant to the caisson disease, usual on high altitudes. It is of brown color with a reddish tint and a white stripe along the ridge. Alpine pastures and specific climate contribute to particular milk bouquet, while also facilitate marble meat development.
Two inbreeds were distinguished – mountain and valley (lowland) type, which differ in size and productivity. The mountain inbreed has a strong and dense constitution, a light dense skeleton, and a strong ungulate horn. Cattle are well adapted to the conditions of the foothills and mountains. The trunk of the shortened chest is wide and deep. They are lower than cows of the valley type – 120-130 cm. The live weight of an adult is 400-450 kg. Milk productivity ranges from 2200 to 3500 kg with 3.5 to 4% fat. The valley (lowland) inbreed has a lightweight but stronger skeleton with less wide but more elongated body. The suit is usually lighter. Cattle of this type are well adapted to the lowland zone of the Transcarpathia. The average weight of an adult is 450-550 kg. Milk productivity is bigger, 3000-4000 kg. Both in-breed types have good meat productivity, 55-58% slaughter yield.
Currently breed is threaten due to continuous crossings with commercial breeds to increase milk production. New animals have lower quality of milk and weaker limbs, making them unable to climb in the mountains. Since 2013 there is no official herds of the breed registered in Ukraine. Currently, in the remote villages of Carpathian region remain only 300-500 animals having at least phenotypical signs of pure Carpathian Brown cattle.