The Heck cattle are a domestic breed meant to be a reconstruction of the extinct wild auroch. They are not used for conventional purposes but instead in breed-back projects.
|Physical Characteristics||Athletic body, short legs, and long, curved horns|
|Coat Color||The bulls are black, and the cows are reddish-brown, with a light-colored saddle.|
|Size||Small to medium|
|Weight||Male: 600–900 kg Female: 400–600 kg|
|Height||Male: 140 cm Female: 130 cm|
|Uses||Breeding-back projects, agriculture|
|Diet||Hay, protein meals, and grains like corn, soybeans, and wheat|
|Lactation Period||305 days|
|Gestation Period||284 days|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climates|
|Price||Not for sale|
|Country of Origin||Germany|
History and Development
The Heck cattle were bred independently by the brothers Heinz and Lutz Heck between the 1920s to the 1930s to re-introduce the now-extinct wild auroch. The duo believed that they could reconstruct the species from its various descendants. Lutz Heck used the Spanish fighting bull, while Heinz Heck worked with a lot more breeds, including the Brown Swiss, Highland cattle, and the Corsican cattle.
However, the resulting breed was highly aggressive, with objections being raised about re-wilding the Heck cattle as it could have a substantial negative impact on the fauna in the area. Currently, there are around 2000 cattle present worldwide, in zoos and various conservation projects.
Despite the initial idea behind the breeding of the Heck cattle being the reconstruction of the wild auroch, the resulting breed is not a perfect recreation of the auroch. This is attributed to a lack of knowledge about the auroch and the speed at which the brothers bred them.
While they produce specific quantities of milk, they are not used for dairy purposes.
These cattle are not bred for meat.
- They are some of the most aggressive breeds, having a reputation for being the “most aggressive” breed in the world.