Tauernschecken A breed of goats with a fascinating history

Tauernschecken? This mysterious breed of goat gets its name from the unique color of its coat, the German word “Schnecke” meaning “snail”, and from the Hohe Tauern region where it was originally bred. To be more precise, the breed actually originated right here in Rauris Valley.

It was here that farmer Kaspar Mullitzer kept around 100 of these special animals at the Wasserfallalm in remote Krumltal, nicknamed today the "Valley of Vultures". In the post-war years, this inquisitive breed was threatened with extinction – only a very small nucleus managed to survive in Krumltal.

Hans Wallner, at that time a successful breeder of Pinzgau cattle, discovered some specimens of these virtually extinct goats in the 1960s. "They found a place in my heart”, he remembers. He would watch these animals for hours at a time, grazing out on alpine pastures and meadows. In 1967, he purchased his first Tauernschecken, establishing the foundation for breeding stock that guaranteed this goat breed would survive. Many other breeders were to follow. In 2012, Hans Wallner received the Austrian Diploma of Honor for his efforts to rescue, expand and market the Tauernschecken .

The "Tauernschecken" provided the theme for Rocco Damm, initiator and publisher, and Michael Fazokas, author and project director, in the writing of the book " Mythos Tauernschecken. Über die Rettung einer geheimnisvollen Ziegenrasse". Hans Wallner, the "pioneer of Tauernschecken breeding”, sees the book as a "ray of light cast upon the journey of the Tauernschecken through time". Interested readers will discover in this book everything they could wish to know about the history, character and use of these animals.

In the book, Rauris’ breeding pioneer, Hans Wallner, depicts how he brought the last remaining animals together as a herd and was able to assure their survival through systematic breeding work. Aside from many breeder portraits, you will also find much fascinating information about the life of these animals spent on the high pasture as well as in their home barns.
Over 300 fantastic photos by Saalfelden photographer Klaus Bauer show the animals amid a unique natural setting, at auctions, shows, and in their winter homes. The author is Bruck native, Michael Fazokas: "This book isn’t just interesting for every animal breeder, it also appeals to anyone who is interested in our local folk culture and nature, as it does lovers of beautiful nature photography and high-quality illustrated books." This 210-page book can be purchased for Euro 49, either online at www.mythos-tauernschecken.com or by calling +43 664 9606050.

Sources, pictures: "Mythos Tauernschecken. Über die Rettung einer geheimnisvollen Ziegenrasse".