The Tux-Zillertaler are an indigenous breed from Tyrol. They mostly likely are descending from the Swiss Eringer (Herens) cattle. At the beginning only the Tuxer strain existed. They were mainly black in color with white spots in the lumbar and caudal regions. Those cattle were crossed with red breeds which led to the Zillertaler strain. Due to their sturdy characteristics (especially their slim legs and hard hoofs) they were quite popular in the alpine regions and widely known. They were even exported to Russia.
One thing they had in common with the Herens was the aggression of the females. Like the Herens they were also used in cow fights and selected for those characteristics. But this selection almost led to the extinction of the breed, which started in the late 19th century. A lot of cattle were sold to Vienna, were they were milked and afterwards slaughtered. During the Nazi regime breeds with a higher milk yield were promoted and after World War II the eradication of infectious diseases (tuberculosis and brucellosis) led to a further decrease of Tux-Zillertaler.
In the 1970ies only 30 Tux-Zillertaler existed. In 1986 the association of Tux-Zillertaler breeders was founded and people started looking for this type of cattle all over Austria. Due to the efforts to preserve the breed the populations stabilized. They became a popular suckler cow breed in the alpine regions. In the past couple of years Tuxer cattle have been exported to neighboring countries like Switzerland and Germany.