Maronesa cattle is a traditional Portuguese breed. Maronesa cattle is also mountain cattle, which lives on the slopes of the Serra da Estrela, and is a feeder. The herd was founded by “the Portuguese” in 1835, with their herd made up of 3 bulls and 4 cows. They are found mostly in the southern part of Portugal, with other populations of cattle found in Spain and Africa.
The breed is well-known for its milk production (it’s one of the highest milk producers), as well as its meat production. The cattle are mostly kept outside in the fields, where they keep grazing. The marines cattle is also beef cattle, which is raised by Portuguese herders.
Historically, this breed of cattle has been developed to meet production needs since the 18th century, with many efforts made to improve the quality of its meat and milk. Currently, it is known for its cow and bull breed. This breed was used as a source for oxen for wine pressing in the 17th and 18th centuries.
How to identify Maronesa cattle:
They have dark, medium hair color. They are usually black on the head but some are dark wavy. The head is more pointed than in most breeds of cattle. Their coat is dense and thick, but not very long and not curly. These cattle live in rocky areas, grassy meadows, and pastures, so they have rough hair coats and sparse hair everywhere else except the head, legs, and tail.
They have a small circular horn. These cattle have a hump behind the withers, but it is not as pronounced as in other breeds. The ears are relatively thin and long, with thin skin and erect.
The Maronesa cattle are local and very adaptable to their environment. They are not very active or nervous. These cattle are used to being with humans, but they do not get easily scared or aggressive. They can be easily tamed with food and water, so they have an easy time being put in a stable, paddock, or field. They are also intelligent, which makes them easier to manage.
The Maronesa cattle is an herbivore. They usually eat grass and leaves from bushes and trees. They require large areas to graze, because of that they are usually found in open areas for a long time. The cattle live in the mountain slopes of the Serra da Estrela, with 1,700 to 2,000 meters above sea level.
The Maronesa cattle are used to produce milk and meat, with their milk and meat being very important in the local diets, as well as their skin. They usually produce around 5 liters of milk per day. The meat of these cattle is juicier compared to other breeds of cattle. The meat is lean, with good flavor.
Maronesa cattle are not aggressive and will not attack, but if they feel threatened, they may attack by kicking. Caution should be taken when around these cattle. The Maronesa cattle are also very sensitive to extreme heat and cold temperatures.
They need to have shade and water at all times. It is also important that these cattle are on a properly balanced diet of grasses, hay, corn, and some protein in the form of molasses or grains. However, review the full breed profile of the Maronesa cattle in the following table.
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|Breed Name||Maronesa cattle.|
|Breed Purpose||Dairy and beef (Milk, Meat, and skin)|
|colored||Black, red, brown, or tan as well as pied with or without white. Both sexes.|
|Climate Tolerance||Mountainous or hill areas.|
|Temperament||Calm and peaceful.|
|Lifespan||15 to 20 years.|
|Diet||Grass, hay, maize, and molasses.|