Striped Busha Cattle
Breeds and animal husbandry - Croatia
Striped Busha cattle are a population of cattle indigenous to the Balkans region that dates back to at least 1000 BC. They have long been present in the Šestanovac area of Split-Dalmatia County, in southern Croatia, but the breed has a long tradition in the central region of Lika as well. These cattle are very hardy and are used to surviving in the rough environment of central and southern Croatia. The striped Busha is a small-framed breed, with an average height of 115 cm. Cows weigh up to 250 kg, and bulls weigh about 300 kg. It is a late-maturing breed, with reproduction typically occurring after 2 years. The average lifespan of the breed is about 20 years. Usually, Busha cattle's coats are one color, but the striped Busha has a long stripe along its back that contrasts with the body color. This variety is rare, and in fact there is only one known producer working to preserve and revitalize this specific population. Difficulty in accessing State-owned pasturelands is one obstacle producers of this population face. Busha striped cattle also face predation from wolves, which are protected under the law. Small-scale producers raising striped Busha cattle have difficulty producing quantities of meat and milk that allow them to compete with large-scale producers. Therefore, products from these cattle are usually limited to local markets and sold directly by producers. In fact, most meat, milk, and cheeses made from striped Busha cattle are produced for home consumption.