Gelbvieh (literally “yellow cattle”), also known as Frankenvieh, is a cattle breed with monochrome yellowish fur and a flesh-colored muzzle. They are an old, very muscular breed. Gelbvieh have good hoof health and cows show good mothering behavior. These cattle were used historically for meat, milk, and draft power. Their use as dairy and draft animals contributed to their calm temperament. Relatives of the Gelbvieh include the Ark of Taste passengers Glanrind cattle and Limpurg Ox.
Toward the end of the 18th century, the first cattle from Heilbronn had arrived in the Franconian region. They were crossed with the local Franconian cattle, as were Simmental. At the beginning of the 1870s, there was still a large variety of breeds with many crossings in Franconia. In 1897, the Yellow Cattle Association of Central Franconia was founded. The cattle census revealed that there were 576,662 head in the early 20th century and more than 800,000 during the breed’s heyday at the end of the 1950s. The structural change in Franconian arable farming areas initially led to a decline in the number of oxen required, with increasing mechanization and then high-performance dairy cows (predominantly Fleckvieh) displacing the Gelbvieh. In 1997 there were around 9,000 purebred animals, and in 2016 only 1,350 (250 of which were beef cattle). The Gelbvieh thus falls into category III, "endangered," on the Red List of the Society for the Conservation of Old and Endangered Rare Breeds (Gesellschaft zur Erhaltung alter und gefährdeter Haustierrassen e.V.).
Today, some low-input farms continue to use Gelbvieh for milk and meat production. Pasture farming is mainly found in parts of Franconia (e.g. Spessart, Rhön, Altmühlfranken). Gelbvieh have a fine-grained, well-marbled flesh and the meat has an excellent flavor.