Alistana-Sanabresa Cows

About Alistana-Sanabresa CattleAbout Alistana-Sanabresa Cattle

Photo from <a target = blank href='' class = body>The Breed Back Blog </a>
Photo from The Breed Back Blog

Alistana-Sanabresa cattle are a crossbreed of Alistana and Sanabresa cattle. They produce high yields of good quality meat even on poor pasture. They are housed and given fodder only under extreme environmental conditions.

Adult females are 131-142 cm high, weight 500-535 kg., and have a chestnut coat that darkens towards their front. Adult males are 145-155 cm high, weight 650-900 kg., and have a chestnut coat with the same pattern as females but darker.

They are very hardy. While they tend to be less productive than more mainstream breeds, they adapt better to a wide range of environments (fewer sanitary problems, fewer calving difficulties, and they are better at utilizing local pastures).

Originally Alistana-Sanabresa cattle were used as draught animals, for meat, and for milk. However, these days they are used almost solely for meat production. 

In the middle of the last century the Alistana-Sanabresa breed had an estimated population of 37.000 animals. However, since drought animals have become unnecessary, their numbers dwindled to around 1,400. 

In the 70's the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture through the Censyra (Breed and Selection Center) of Lugo, began breeding selected males to face the lack of Alistana-Sanabresa stub bulls, loaning the animals, and providing semen to breeders and creating a semen bank of the best animals.  

In 1995, the Regional Agriculture Authorities began a subsidies program to support endangered autochthonous cattle breeds. Three years later the Alistana-Sanabresa Pedigree Book was created. In the same year, Agriculture authorities supported the formation of A.E.C.A.S. the breed association, that from that date have coordinated Alistana-Sanabresa farmers for the development and conservation of the breed, organizing meetings, courses, promotional activities, performance recording, etc. As a result their numbers have been increasing, and there are now over 2,500 animals.