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Pisca - heifer - Portugal

(most common name)

(local/other name):
• gado Charnequeiro do sul do Tejo
• gado da Terra
• gado Preto
• Raça Bovina Preta

The Preta is raised for meat and fattens mainly on the coarse stubble of cereal crops, acorns, and the undergrowth that is found in poor pastures and river floodplains.

The exact origin of the Preta is in dispute, however many experts believe the breed started as a general mix of Andalusian Black cattle, Brava de Lide, and cattle that eventually became the Mirandesa and Alentejana. The first written documentation referring to these ‘Gado da Terra’ appeared in 1850.

The Preta started out as a working breed due to their strength and high tolerance for variations in the quality and quantity of their food sources.

The Preta’s ability to adapt to poor soil (combined with their tolerance for a hot climate) continues to make them both environmentally friendly and efficiently productive for agricultural use in less than ideal farming areas. Thus, their herd numbers are increasing and many breeders are doing their best to keep certain numbers of the breed pure. Their selections for productive and reproductive traits include: fertility, ease of calving, maternal fitness for weaning weight, weight at 12 months, slaughter weight, carcass yield and quality of the meat.

Commercial Preta are also being crossed with Limousin and Charolais bulls to obtain higher weaning and slaughter weights. Charolais crossings, in particular, benefit in terms of easy calving.

The Preta is docile in temperament, very maternal and calves easily. Their horns are wide and lyre-shape with black tips. They have black noses and hooves and their coats are predominately a unicolor black. However, brown and brindle coats and lighter-coloration in the udders can also be found (which breeders are hoping to eliminate in the future).

The Preta is raised on farms in the Districts of Santarém, Portalegre and Évora where the ideal climate and natural pastures on which they feed are located.

• (Portuguese) gado Charnequeiro do sul do Tejo = cattle (on the) heath of south of Tagus (river)
• (Portuguese) Gado da Terra = cattle of Earth
• (Portuguese) gado Preto = cattle black

Pisca - heifer - Portugal

This page was last updated on: 2019-12-16

You can also go to:

My Daily Cow® Portugal and read about other Portuguese cattle breeds.

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