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The effect of grazing of various cattle breeds on botanical composition of low-lying pasture in Hortobágy
Published August 29, 2017

Coenological surveys were conducted in the Hortobágy National Park (Pap-ere and Zám-puszta) in May 2015 and 2016. During the tests,a total of 40 permanent plots were analyzed on grasslands grazed by extensive cattle (Hungarian Grey) and mixed genotype intensive cattle. The presence of plant species, percentages of... total coverage of species and vegetation cover were recorded. Two habitat types were chosen according to their moisture content: wet salt marsh meadow (Bolboschoenetum maritimi) and drier salt meadows (Beckmannion eruciformis).

We compared the impact of increased number of animals (2016 years) and the low number of animals (2015 years, initial state) and the grazing exclusion on vegetations.
We tested: (i) what is the impact of grazing on the vegetation, (ii) how do species composition and vegetation charachteristics differ in the two habitat types (iii) and is there a difference in the impact of different cattle breeds (Hungarian gray, intensive beef cattle) grazing on the grasslands species composition? During the investigation we found, (i) that the greatest number of species was recorded in 2015, on the area that received moderate to intensive grazing (14.3 species per m2). Somewhat the number of species was reduced in 2016 due to more intensive grazing. The control group had the lowest number of species (11.7 species per m2). The undergrass and legumes cover significantly increased on intensive grazed lands. (ii) Our results indicate that the effects of different grazing differ in the two studied habitat types. On the drier grasslands greater number of species were found (16.2 species per m2), oppositely to the wet grassland (11.2 species per m2). The cover of the undergrasses was higher in the drier habitat than in the wet. (iii) The extensive beef cattle left a bigger number of species (16 species per m2) than the intensive beef cattle (11.4 species per m2). The grass cover was more intense on areas grazed by intensive cattle. The absolute and potential weeds cover showed a higher value on areas grazed by Hungarian Grey. Our two-year results suggest that grazing by both extensive and intensive cattle breeds can be a proper tool for the conservation management of alkali grasslands.

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Additional data for the evaluation of coat colour varieties in the Hungarian Grey cattle
Published July 16, 2007

When preserving genetic resources, one of the most important tasks is to conserve as much of the given gene pool for the future generations as we can. Therefore, traits that have no economic value at the moment should also be conserved. The great variety of coat colours seen in the Hungarian Grey cattle form part of the world’s genetic In order to maintain the world’s genetic diversity, we have to maintain these varieties, as well. The different coat colour varieties were determined – in both sexes and in several age groups – with a Minolta Chromameter CR-410 in an objective way. We found that the rate of the three main coat colour varieties of calves: the light reddish, the reddish and the dark reddish were 26%, 52% and 22%, respectively. Statistically significant differences were found between the L*a*b* values of the reddish coat colour of the Hungarian Grey and the red coat colour of the Limousin calves. The rate of the crane, the grey and the light grey coat colour varieties were determined in the measured female groups. The L*a*b* values of the Hungarian Grey and Maremman bulls’ coat were compared and evaluated.

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The effect of different genotype cattle grazing on the nutrient content of saline grasslands vegetation
Published December 28, 2018

Maintaining saline grasslands in good condition, preserving their yield and diversity is important not only for the purpose of nature conservation, but also for farming. Therefore, the primary purpose of our study is to analyse the effect of pasture use of the smaller weight extensive and the larger weight intensive beef cattle on the grassland... vegetation and nutrient content. In this way, we can answer the question whether grazing for nature conservation can be achieved with more profitable, more economical and more intense varieties.

The tests were carried out in May 2016 and May 2017, in the Hortobágy National Park (Pap-ere and Zám puszta), where a total of 16 sample areas were analysed. These areas are grazed with extensive beef cattle (Hungarian grey) and mixed genotype of intensive cattle. The associations were selected along a moisture gradient, such as wet salt marsh (Bolboschoenetum maritimi) and drier saline meadow (Beckmannion eruciformis). All the vegetative material collected both years in May was analysed for the following parameters: dry matter, crude protein, crude fibre and life-sustaining net energy content. We compared the effects of medium grazing (0.46 livestock/ha) and abandonment on vegetation and nutrient content.

We examined the effect of (i) grazing, (ii) different grasslands (salt marsh, saline meadow) and (iii) grazing of different cattle breeds (Hungarian grey, intensive beef) on the nutrient content of the vegetation of grasslands Based on our results, it was found that grazing had an impact on crude protein and life-sustaining net energy content. The highest crude protein content (12.75 m/m%) was obtained in the year 2017 in the area where higher density had been grazed for two years. For the lifesustaining net energy, the highest value (5.05 MJ/kg d.m.) was also obtained in 2017 and the lowest in 2016. Furthermore, it was found that there was no significant difference between the effect of the two cattle breeds on the parameters examined. Significant effects were observed only in the case of life-sustaining net energy: in the area of intensive beef cattle we received a higher value (5.15 MJ/kg body weight) than in the area with extensive beef cattle (4.96 MJ/kg body weight).

Our results have also shown that cattle grazing is of the utmost importance for the maintenance of both wet and mesophilous habitats. Based on our three-year study, we can say that grazing by both extensive and intensive cattle breeds is suitable for the management of saline habitats.

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Horn and coat color varieties of the Hungarian grey cattle
Published May 23, 2006

Due to the intensification of agricultural production, genetic diversity has been reduced to a large extent. Presently, in the period of worldwide genetic conservation, we try to preserve as much of the gene pool of our valuable indigenous domestic animal breeds as we can. Therefore, traits that have no economic value at the moment should also conserved. The different horn and coat colour varieties of Hungarian Grey Cattle are such valuable traits. Research has been done on the largest Hungarian Grey Cattle stock, at the Hortobágy Kht. Rates of the different horn and coat colour varieties were determined and relationships were analyzed between the above mentioned qualitative traits

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Daily behaviour of Hungarian Grey Cattle under range grazing conditions
Published May 6, 2013

...5); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Cattle behaviour on rangeland depends on external factors, such as grass allowance and quality, temperature, net solar radiation, distance from water-source, wind speed and direction, air pressure changes and the applied breeding technology. Our research is based on previous empirical observations and modern methods to analyze the behaviour of the Hungarian Grey Cattle. Today it is crucial to use cost-effective solutions in modern beef cattle farming therefore we introduce a cost-efficient method to study and follow cattle herds. We are studying relation between traveled daily distance and air pressure. The various weather fronts influence behavioural characteristics and traveled daily distance. According to our hypothesis, the pressure-change and the wind direction has significant effect on cattle activity on pasture. As the different air masses alter the barometric conditions and unbalance the neuroendocrine system, indirectly cause relaxed or agitated behaviour

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Horn colour varieties of the Hungarian Grey cattle
Published November 24, 2008

The Hungarian Grey Cattle breed is a ‘success-story’ of the national genetic conservation work. Traits of the breed have been subjects of several research projects, although many relationships remained unclear. Our present research results were meant to call attention to a less emphasized trait of the breed: the different horn colour variet...ies. Research work was carried out in the Hungarian Grey stock of the Hortobágy Non-profit Company for Nature Conservation and Gene Preservation. Ratio of the three main horn colour varieties (white, ‘cardy’, green) were determined in the observed female, male and steer stocks. Our results showed no significant differences (P<0,05) in the distribution of the horn colour varieties of the female and bull stocks, and of the female and steer stocks. We found that on the basis of the ratio of white colour, four sub-categories can be distinguished within the ‘cardy’ colour variety. Results of the statistical analysis (P<0,05) confirmed that the colour of the horn and the ratio of the black part on the horn tip are two different traits. 

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Study of changes in the strength of connection between grey cattle cows and their offspring after weaning
Published June 1, 2021

It is important to minimize stress for cattle because of animal welfare and profitability. This study aims to reveal how long after abrupt weaning the cow and her offspring show a need to rebuild the connection if physical barriers are removed and distances disappear. The research was carried out on Szamárhát Farm owned by the Tiszatáj F...oundation, Hungary. In the autumn of 2019, thirty-one calves were weaned, randomly selected from 81 grey cattle cows’ offspring. The oldest calf was 10 months old, while the youngest one was 6 months old on the day of weaning. They were divided into three groups and reunited with the cows during the first, third, and fifth weeks after weaning. Each reunion happened in the early afternoon and the cow and her offspring spent 24 hours together again. The formation and the strength of the connection were recorded for an hour three times during this period, first in the afternoon, then in the morning, and the next afternoon. It can be seen that both parties showed the need to form the connection during the first week after weaning because the bond made between them was obvious in a short time. The connections proved to be strong. However, neither the cows nor their offsprings showed any intention to form strong connections in the third and fifth weeks. In the majority of the cases, no connection was formed. 

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Search for polymorphism in exon 5 of cattle pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide gene
Published March 24, 2015

Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide is a neuropeptide expressed primarily in the hypothalamus and in other tissues, which divergent and extensive physiological functions are proved. Large number of SNPs in PACAP are published involved SNP that is associated with phenotypic trait of cattle as well. Hungarian Grey, Hungarian Simmen...tal, Holstein, Charolais and Angus cattle breeds were involved in this study to search for polymorphism in exon 5 1–391 bp and G/A transition. Our results of PCR RFLP and PCR SSCP did not prove the occurrence neither G/A transition, nor any other SNP in cattle breeds involved.

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Coenological and grassland management studie in different planted and renewed grasslands
Published February 10, 2013

...5); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">We studied the vegetation of a 260 ha Hungarian Grey Cattle pasture near Páskom, which can be found in Zámoly basin. We carried out our surveyes in May 2012. The pasture can be divided into five parts. One part, approximately the half of the area (150.83 ha), is an old-field grassland, which was overseeded 20 years ago. The other half of the pasture was restored (109.17 ha) in 4 different ways in 2009 and then was mowed until 2011. Seven relevés were made in each part of the pasture (the occurence of species and their cover value were recorded). The aim of our study was to compare the effects of the different restoration methods and mowing on the botanical composition of the pasture.

The results showed, that the grassland restored with hay transfer method was the most similar to the natural conditions. The greatest number of species was recorded in that part and the species of natural grasslands become dominant. The directly sowed and the spontaneous grassland parts separated chiefly from the semi-natural 20 years old grassland.

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The Effect of Grazing Intensities on Magnesium Contents
Published September 22, 2004

Research was carried out on two areas of grassland in Hortobágy National Park, Hungary. Two herds of Hungarian Grey Cattle were kept in free range grazing and the effects of grazing pressure on the magnesium content of soil and ryegrass (Lolium perenne L) were determined.
Changes of plant available and total soil magnesium content under dif...ferent grazing intensities did not show any evident tendency on the investigated grasslands. Different amounts of cattle faeces, urine and trampling had no effect on the magnesium concentration of ryegrass. We conclude that the magnesium content of ryegrass on both grassland sites as moderate grazing and overgrazing matches the requirements of cattle. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency of cattle will likely not appear.

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Changes in the relationship between Hungarian Grey cows (Bos primigenius taurus hungaricus) and their calves in the period from calving to four months of age
Published May 26, 2022

The ability of cows to care for their offsprings is a very important trait concerning beef cattle. Maternal instincts are highly influenced by breed, specific cow, and social and rearing environment. In 2020, at the Szamárháti farm of the Tiszatáj Public Foundation, we selected 15 dam-calf pairs and studied them for four months from the ...birth of the calves. We grouped calf-rearing behaviors according to strength and analyzed the related changes during the program. At the beginning of the relationship, "standing close to each other" (53%) and "suckling" (24%) characterized the pairs. After the first month, "standing or lying separated" grew by 69%, and "vocalization" by both animals fell by 66%. Even though the daily frequency of suckling decreased by 34% as the calves grew older, it remained a typical element of the relationship. Over time, the bond between the animals gradually weakened. This natural process of separation takes a month to complete.

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Some methodological aspects of animal behaviour during beef cattle grazing
Published July 31, 2012

Ethology, the research field of animal behaviour, during the past half century developed into an independent science and became more important in recent years as the farming industry has turned toward quality production. Farm animals respond for every environmental factor. Essential to know the answers to avoid unpleasant economic consequences.... Based on the shepherds’ experience, this science has merged with modern technology, constantly expanding and searching new methods. According to the literature the article summarizes the observation methods in cattle grazing. This paper introduces the beginnings and shows the future trends. Finally we share personal experiences as the Hungarian Grey cattle grazing behaviour at conditions of Hortobágy, Hungary.

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Preservation of Biological Diversity of Domestic Animals in Hungary
Published December 10, 2002

Since the 1992 Rio de Janeiro UNO Congress domestic animals belong also officially to the genetic diversity of the world. Non commercial domestic animal breeds should be maintained for many cultural and technical reasons. Conservation and preservation of living beings is nowadays in the programme of many regional, national and international org...anizations.
The preservation of domestic animals is possible in situ (at the original place and conditions) and ex situ (by cryogenic methods).
There are three era in the history of preservation of domestic animals: the epoch of spontaneous maintenance, the period of sporadic national activities and the era of international programme.
Some of the questions to be solved by scientific research: the principles of selection of the candidate populations for maintenance, the different degrees of endangeredness, the necessary population size to be subsidized, the problem of inbreeding, the best mating systems etc.
In Hungary the maintenance of endangered domestic animal breeds is based upon the low.
The following breeds are on the list of protected breeds:
− the Hungarian Grey cattle,
− the Lipizzan, Shagya, Nonius, Gidran, Furioso,Kisbér Halfbred, Murinsulaner and Hucul horses,
− the Racka, Tsigai and Cikta sheep,
− the Mangalitsa pig,
− the Hungarian yellow, white, speckled and the Transsylvanian naked necked hen,
− the Bronze Turkey,
− the Frizzle Feathered goose.
Hopefully in the near future the breeders of traditional domestic animal breeds will find the possible niches for their special products.

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