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Sayaguesa Cattle

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Sayaguesa Cattle


The Sayaguesa Cattle, also called Zamorana Cattle, is an ancient, aurochs-like cattle breed from Sayago in the province of Zamora in the Spanish autonomous community of Castile and León.

Appearance and description

Sayaguesa are rather large, with bulls weighting between 1000 and 1100 kg and cows 650 and 700 kg. The bulls are black and often have a light eel stripe. The cows often are only slightly lighter than the bulls,but there are some wild type coloured brown Sayaguesa cows left. Also, they have the whitely coloured mouth of the aurochs. The horns are aurochs-like and swung forwards especially in bulls. Sayaguesa is a long-legged breed, which also has a swung backline, which resembles those of the aurochs. Furthermore, Sayaguesa does not have the short calf-like face of many domestic cattle breeds.

The breed is know to be hardy, robust and frugal and therefore needs no shelter or barn during the year.[1][2]

Range

Traditionally, Sayaguesa are used as working and draft animals. There are comparably few animals left, so the breed is listed as endangered since 1997. Because primitive breeds like this have a low economical rentability, farmers often do not use them any more or cross them with more productive breeds, which endangers the few aurochs-like phenotypes left.

Because of its resemblance to its wild ancestor, Sayaguesas are used in certain nature conservation and rewilding projects. For example, Sayaguesas are used by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Biologischer Umweltschutz in Germany.[3] Also Stichting Taurus uses this breed, integrated in TaurOs Project. This project aims to breed a type of cattle which resembles the aurochs closely in phenotype, genetics and ecology by crossing primitive breeds like this one, Pajuna Cattle, Maremmana primitivo or Tudanca Cattle[4]

See also

References

External links

  • (Spanish)
  • A further article (Spanish)
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