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Elevato Chianina Stud specialises in breeding full blood Chianina. Looking back at the last five years of intensive farming we are very excited about the Chianina’s future in South Africa. We strive to keep up with new genetics via embryo implanting and artificial insemination as well as semen collections from top South African bulls. We also import top-quality embryos and semen from Italy. Seeing our herd grow proves our commitment and progress through the years.


Visiting the National Chianina show in Italy as often as possible is always a highlight and encouragement to better our breed.


We are very proud to be part of the founders of the Chianina Interest group of South Africa, established in 2016, and take pride in selling only registered cattle. We are part of a group of breeders in different provinces around the country, and Elevato Chianina Stud is currently the biggest registered Chianina Cattle breeder in South Africa. 


We urge new buyers to always make sure of the right documentation and to contact the Chianina Interest group of South Africa or Studbook for any information regarding Registration Certificates.



Parent Certification PDF Icon

Parent Certification



The Chianina is an Italian breed of cattle, mainly bred for beef. It is the largest and one of the oldest cattle breeds in the world raised in the Italian regions of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio for at least 2200 years. Chianinas were mainly used for draught and sacrificial purposes. During the middle Ages, no rural peasant would have accommodated an animal that could not work well, and cows and bullocks alike were harnessed as draught animals. Animals that did not perform were slaughtered. This practice, an early form of selective breeding, left the Chianina with great genetic stability and uniformity.


These age-old, majestic animals have been etched into history being immortalised in some of Rome’s famous art sculptures as well as having been mentioned in some of renowned poet Columella’s writings from around 50 AD.

Chianina Donetto World Champion

Donetto holds World Record for the heaviest bull at 1740kg



Breeding is geared towards large, strong animals. The genetic legacy of two millennia has expressed itself in cattle with heavy muscling, long legs, hard hooves, good movement, endurance and a calm disposition. It is the tallest and the heaviest breed of cattle, mature bulls stand 1.8m to 2m in height, it is not unusual for bulls to exceed 1,600kg in weight. Males standing over 1.51m at 12 months are considered top-grade.


Cows usually weigh 800-900kg, but commonly exceed 1,000kg and those standing over 1.65m are judged top-grade. Calves routinely weigh 45-50kg, despite its birth weight, the small head and slender body makes calving very easy. These calves can easily pick up about 2kg per day before reaching full-size.


The coat of the Chianina is white, very slight grey shading around the eyes and on the foreparts is tolerated with some Chianina bulls having darker-coloured hair around their faces. These cattle have short horns that are curved forward. In young cattle, these horns are black but usually get paler in colour as time goes on. Farmers may dehorn the animals to allow them to be in proximity to other livestock. The skin, muzzle, switch, hooves and the tips of the horns are black, as are the natural openings (anus, vulva, eyelids, palate, tongue and the lower part of the scrotum). Their skin is tough, resistant to parasites and they adapt well to warmer weather, which is why they cope well in the South African environment.


These gentle giants have a docile temperament and show no aggression, while their unique characteristics of enormous proportions, rapid growth rate and early maturity make them the ideal for the production of meat. Factors like their adaptability to their environment, and great ease of calving all influence the superior quality of beef that is derived from these animals, as the meat is lean and offers excellent nutritional value.


Elevato Chianina Cow Hooves

The feet should be properly angled in a

more upright position

Fetlock has an
average width

Hooves are well

shaped and compact

Elevato Chianina Bull and Cow

Black muzzle

Their black skin pigmentation and white and sometimes steel grey coat makes them resilient to skin cancer and high temperature 

Black hair at the base of the tail

Black Hooves

AVRG. weight of a cow

Elevato Chianina Weight

AVRG. weight of a bull

Elevato Chianina Weight

The rump convexity has an average muscularity with a hip bone measurement of about 52cm - 56cm 

Elevato Chianina Cow Back

The buttocks are average in height with standard muscular development
across rear

Hooves are positioned perpendicular

The breed does develop short horns that are curved to the front, but farmers dehorn the breed due to confined living conditions.

Elevato Chianina Cow Front

The width of the thorax shoulders are 43cm to 48cm with an average muscle development around the shoulders

A developed brisket 

Hooves are positioned perpendicular

Elevato Chianina Cow Top

The width of the withers should be in proportion to the back which makes it of average sizing

An averaged well-muscled back sizing

The loin convexity shaped

To maintain a healthy and robust breed the following need to be taken into consideration

Elevato Chianina Cow Side

A strong and horizontal back

The length of the rump should be between 53cm and 56cm and horizontally aligned

The thorax should range between 72cm and 76cm

The height is calculated from the withers and should range 155cm and 161cm

The length of the of the trunk can range from

161cm to 167cm

The legs of a Chianina are usually longer to that of other standard breeds

Elevato Chianina Bull Height

The average weight of a Chianina Bull

Elevato Chianina Cow Height

The average weight of a Chianina Cow 

Calves are born fawn colour and turn white between 30 and 260 days

Chianina beef has the lowest cholesterol and highest protein content of any European red meat. It is succulent, high in protein (20% and more), low in cholesterol (53mg/100kg) and has a maximum of 106 calories per 100g serving

Breeding of Calves

Elevato Chianina Calf

Smaller skull makes birthing easier reducing vet costs

Has lower body fat


Elevato Chianina Calf Weight

A calf gains 2kg per day

Carcasses usually have a 65% yield where standard beef cattle average 58% to 62%.’

Ideal slaughter age of a Chianina is between 16 to 18 months

Elevato Chianina Butchers Cuts


The Chianina is bred for meat and historically for draught uses.

Meat Production

In beef productions, Chianina cattle are chosen for their growth rate, which may exceed 2kg per day, the high yield and high quality of the meat, and their tolerance of heat and sunlight. They are good foragers and have better resistance to disease and insects than many other domestic cattle.

The ideal slaughter time is between 16-18 months where the carcasses usually have a 65% yield, while standard beef cattle average 58% to 62%. The meat is renowned for its quality and nutritional values. In Italy it is sold by name at premium prices by approved butchers, the sales receipt details the breed, birth and slaughter dates, identification number and other data of the animal in order to guarantee its origin.

Marketed under its own brand name, Chianina beef is 40% more expensive than that of other continental breeds and it is renowned for its lean, dark red colour, with a marbling of fat among the muscling. Chianina beef is very tasty and tender and has the lowest cholesterol (53mg/100kg) and highest protein (20% and more), and has a maximum of 106 calories per 100g serving.

In cattle identified for beef production, the criteria for these subjects are animals that display a significant growth rate, will reach early maturity and have the capacity to produce muscle tissue and thus meat. Excellent food-chemistry and nutritional characteristics, adaptability to their environment and good maternal capacities are also considered when making the selection.



The Chianina breed is widely used for cross-breeding. It has been found to transmit well qualities such as growth rate, meat quality, and resistance to heat and cold and to insects and disease, and adaptation to rough terrain. Stock cross-bred with the Chianina may reach slaughter weight a month earlier than normal.


In the United States, semen was imported in 1971, where the first American Chianina x Angus calf was born on 31 January 1972, California. Within 4 years the American Chianina Association had established a Chiangus register and has achieved ‘all but total dominance’ in U.S. steer shows as well as in Australia. Chianina bulls are also crossbred with other cattle to create well-established breeds of today, including Chimaine and Chiford.


The Chianina offers the beef industry enormous potential and flexibility for maximum red meat yield. Within their gene pools many of them do most of the following really well:

Outstanding carcass genetics

  • Extra-long lifespans

  • Easy calving

  • Superior health

  • Vigour

  • Good natured

  • Adapt easily to hot or cold climates


Thus, Chianina breeders can breed superior, productive and problem free cattle.


In commercial beef cross-breeding systems, Chianinas can contribute growth rate, muscularity, high-quality lean beef and heat tolerance to progeny performance. Chianinas are an efficient forager that moves easily over a variety of terrains. The short, smooth coat gives a better disease and insect tolerance than many other breeds, an advantage in tropical countries.

Chianina cows have small udders – for the first 120 days after calving, cows give about 12l/day, and higher producers can milk up to 20l/day. The milk has a very high butterfat content, which means a small amount of milk delivers a very high nutritive value.


A pure Chianina offers more potential growth in its filial 1 (F1) offspring than most other breeds, irrespective of the foundation cow; a Chianina bull will improve its performance. A Chianina bull on Simmentaler, Hereford, Angus and other European breed cows produces F1 weaners’ ideal for the feedlot. In the F1’s of a pure Chianina bull, the Chianina’s black skin pigmentation is dominant while its white coat colour is recessive so the dam’s coat colour will prevail.

Chianina genetics reduce surplus fat in the calves and decrease the incidence of genetic problems in the cross-bred offspring. Chianina bulls promote uniformity among their crosses – a desirable trait for feedlots and cattlemen seeking terminal sires. The Chianina has few genetic or phenotypic faults.

Using Chianina sires on cows of the Drakensberger, Tuli, and Boran, Afrikaner, Brahman and other hardy tropical and veld-adapted breeds should produce superior weaners and steers for rounding off on grass.



In planned mating, the best bulls are selected, which have been evaluated in performance tests, as well as the best breeding cows, which have been categorised according to maternal capacity.

Artificial insemination and embryo flushing are used to the greatest possible extent. Locally we make use of embryo flushing, In Vivo and In Vitro, through an organisation Embryo Plus. We also endeavour to collect semen from top-grade bulls around the country as well as importing high-quality embryos and semen from Italy.



Embryo Plus

Embryo Plus pride themselves in staying in touch with the newest technologies available in commercial embryo transfer.

Their qualifications and services include:

  • Embryo collection, transfer and freezing

  • Embryo splitting and sexing

  • Embryo exports and imports

  • Semen collection and freezing

  • Semen exports and imports

  • Approved team leaders



For Elevato Chianina Embryo Sales contact us on or call us on 015 2855004/5



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We’d like to hear from you… contact us at MW de Wet and Sons with any questions or comments.

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