We are in the middle of calving season for grey cattle. Over 450 calves were born in just the last couple of weeks in Hortobágy, and at least another 450 calves are expected to be born this winter.
Protecting the species is a No. 1 priority in Hortobágy. Therefore, their number grows each year. However, only the strongest and healthiest cattle are involved in the cattle-breeding. Approximately 1,000 calves are expected to be born this winter, dehir reports.
Whenever a new calf is born, its gender and other data are documented, and each calf gets an ear tag to certify its origins. Herdsmen are there every step of the way to help the animals, sometimes even during birth.
The calves do not have the signature grey fur yet. Instead, they have an orange- or brownish-coloured fur when they are born, and it takes over six months for their fur to change to that signature grey colour. Calves are often referred to as pirók borjú, which roughly translates to reddish-coloured calf.
The Hungarian Grey (Bos primigenius taurus hungaricus) is Hungary’s native and protected animal species; it is also a Hungarikum. The Hungarian Grey is usually slender and tall. The bulls reach a height of 145–155 cm and a weight of 800–900 kgs. The cows are 135–140 cm high with an approximate 500–600 kgs of weight. The colour of this animal is grey, but it ranges from silvery-white to ash-grey. As already mentioned, the new-born calves are brown or reddish coloured, and by the time they become 6–8 months old, their colour changes to grey. The 3–4-year-old bulls usually have some black colour as well on their abdomen, frontal legs, eyes, shoulders and even chest.