Criollo Cattle

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The Criollo cow is of medium size (400 – 440 kg) and has an average milk production of 4 – 6 liters per day. Criollo bulls weigh 600 – 800 kg when fully grown. Their coats span a range of colors, from black, brown and red to even white, and can be solid, piebald, striped or speckled. The breed is known for its gentleness and docility, which makes it easy to handle in mountain areas. It is also a fertile breed that calves easily.   Criollo cattle’s genetic variability is one of its beneficial features, giving it heartiness and longevity in different ecosystems. It is a particularly beneficial breed in harsher, less productive environments, and produces meat that is excellent in flavor and tenderness.   The Criollo cattle is among the oldest breeds found in the Americas. It origins are traced back to the first cattle brought by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493. The breed came about from selection of cattle in in Andalusia and spread throughout the New World with the colonizing expeditions in Argentina mainly from expeditions of Pedro de Mendoza (1536) and Juan de Garay (1580). Thus, it quickly spread in northern and central Argentina and adapted to various climatic conditions, soils and vegetation.   Originally, the Criollo cattle were semi-wild and “hunted,” before being completely domesticated and bred beginning in the 17th century. As British cattle breeds were introduced to the country’s meat production industry, this localized breed was relegated to the more geographically inaccessible areas of Argentina. Today, meat from Criollo cattle is sold, but not marketed separately from other breeds. There is an association of producers of purer strains of the breed found in remote areas away from conventional production areas. 

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