Cika cow

Ark of taste
Back to the archive >

Cika is a cattle breed indigenous to the Slovenian Alps, which was very common especially from the second half of the 19th century until the First World War. It is very rustic, fertile, long-lived, resistant to the climate, frugal and well adapted to difficult alpine climates and pastures. It was once well known for its good milk production, so much so that cika cows were even sold on the market in Salzburg. With its milk, traditional cheeses were produced, among them the tolminc, the mohant and the nanos. Then, after the Second World War, the arrival of other, more productive breeds like Simmental, have threatened the existence of the cika. In more recent years, it has been at risk of extinction; in 2007 there were only 1625 head left (but only 20% of the breeders at that time had the real, autochthonous phenotype), 912 of which were dairy cows. The coat of the cika cow is usually reddish-brown, and can present white spots. After all, cika in Slovenian means “spotted”. The spots are also a consequence of the crossing of cika with the Austrian Pinzgauer cattle, which is bigger and more productive. The horns are short, black and point to the front. The farmers breeding the last cika cows have stuck with the traditional breeding and raising methods, which includes transhumance from the valleys to mountain pastures in the hot season.
Its milk is still used to produce cheese and butter, but also the meat is of high quality. The large share of its products are reserved for domestic consumption or sold in small quantities in local countryside shops

Back to the archive >





Other info


Breeds and animal husbandry