Cows and "queens"
Valdostane cows and “Queens”, truly special specimens
The Valdostane breed of cattle is distinguished by its rustic appearance and dual production purpose: meat and milk. They are particularly agile cattle on mountain terrain, suited to difficult climates, resistant to illnesses, live long and breed easily.
The Valdostane dappled red breed, introduced in Valle d'Aosta by the Burgundians towards the end of the V century, boasts the production of much appreciated milk, if compared with the size of its specimens and the difficult, environmental breeding conditions. Fontina, the famous DOP cheese, is produced exclusively with milk from the Valdostane breed, which feed on forage and local herbs.
The other two breeds, the Valdostane dappled black and the chestnut cow breed, characterised by a vivacious and warlike temperament, lead them to fight in spring battles, to establish the hierarchy of the herd.
This natural habit among cattle, together with the passion of the breeders, led to the "Batailles de Reines" (Battle of Queens), cruelty free exhibitions held throughout the region. From spring to autumn, various rounds are organised, divided by weight category, which are viewed by the owners of the animals, as well as numerous fans and tourists who take advantage of a day outdoors to enjoy an usual spectacle. The victorious “Reines” from the heats met in October for the final, which takes place in the "Croix Noire" area in Aosta, surrounded by a huge audience.
Bloodless, instinctive fights for the cows, the aim of which is to establish a hierarchy in the group by electing the “queen” in a natural manner.
The "bataille des chèvres" is a festive time, where the goats confront each other in a bloodless battles.
A full day together with those who work all summer on a mountain dairy farm.