Asiri Dwarf Mountain Cow

Ark of taste
Back to the archive >

البقر الجبلي لمنطقة عسير

The Asiri dwarf mountain cow is a breed known in the southwestern regions of Saudi Arabia, namely in the Asir region. This breed feeds on natural sources and can withstand the low temperatures in the mountains. Their tolerance for cold climates enables them to be less susceptible to diseases, and therefore have a high production rate. They are usually red in color and have short bodies. They weigh less when compared to other species, weighing from 100-150 kilograms at a year and a half.
Cows are raised to make use of their rich, fresh products such as milk, butter, margarine, and meat. Their milk is very high in protein and is considered the choice for butter production. The delicacy of her meat is also well-known in popular recipes such as porridge and broth.
Asir is a mountainous region characterized by its rough terrain, valleys, and abundant herds in which cattle feed, resulting in extensive grazing. It provides grazing by nature all year round, so the type of animals in it is suitable for a difficult mountainous environment. In summer, cows go up the mountain, around houses and farms, and in winter, they come down the mountain to warm up. The herdsmen mark their cows, and the cows are intelligent, able to identify which owner they belong to.

The cows feed on plants available in mountainous areas, such as clover and spinal figs. They can tolerate temperatures from 30-35 °C in summer and subzero temperatures in winter.
These local cows are considered pristine breeds and are very important animals in the southwestern regions of Saudi Arabia, especially in the past. The female cow, called "the mother of the house", was considered the cornerstone of the household, and determined the family’s prosperity by relying heavily on the cow for its milk, cheeses, and other dairy products. They depended on the males (calves or bulls) for meat production or for plowing the farms. Beef from these cows is usually linked to social occasions, such as weddings or preparations for the holy month of Ramadan.

In the past, two types of breeders were known. The first was the family that raises the small cow (called Al Hasil) with its mother inside the house for personal production, and the housewife is responsible for milking the cow. The second type is herd breeders of 15 to 1,000 depending on physical ability, and they are responsible for supplying the market with meat and beef products, and the whole family is responsible for milk and care for it or labor. Now the first type has ceased to exist due to the existence of the alternative. The proportion of the second type decreased because of differences in interest with the new generations.

Unfortunately, many people are ceasing to raise these cows because of the absence of inheriting their profession like before, due to the diversity of interests, market demand, and high prices of goods compared to factory production and the availability of imported goods, which made the people depend on them to a great extent.

The selection of the products is supported by the Culinary Arts Commission of the Ministry of Culture of Saudi Arabia.
In collaboration with Azka Farms, Saudi Arabia.

Back to the archive >


StateSaudi Arabia


Other info


Breeds and animal husbandry

Nominated by:Musa Hasaan