Murnau-Werdenfels cattle are very well adapted to moorlands and marshes, not to mention steep alpine pastures. They were considered a typical “three-use” breed, meaning that they were highly valued as draught animals, dairy cows and beef cattle.
The breed almost became extinct in the 1950s and 1960s. With increasing mechanisation, the aspect of performance became less important. In milk and beef production, the breed was inferior to the ultimately preferred brown and Fleckvieh cattle.
The population of Murnau-Werdenfels cattle is considered endangered today; there were only 160 pure-bred examples in 2006. Thanks to the substantial commitment of breeders, farmers and experts from the world of politics and non-profit institutions, it has been possible to revive the breed to a population of approximately 1400 animals, with an upward trend.