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Cachena cattle

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Title: Cachena cattle  
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Subject: Agriculture in Spain, Agriculture in Portugal, Beef
Collection: Agriculture in Spain, Cattle Breeds, Cattle Breeds Originating in Portugal, Portuguese Products with Protected Designation of Origin
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Cachena cattle

Cachena Cattle in Samos in the Province of Lugo in Galicia, Spain
Cachena cows near Samos Monastery

The Cachena Cattle is a triple purpose cattle breed from Portugal and bred also in Galicia, Spain. In Portugal, there are also a similar but larger cattle breed known by the name, Barrosão or Barrosã. Cachena and Barrosã are sometimes considered variants of the same race.


  • Ancestry and Description 1
  • Distribution 2
  • Use 3
  • Protection 4
  • External links 5

Ancestry and Description

The Cachena Cattle were bred from brown and yellow local cattle in Northern Portugal. They are light brown to yellow with dark brown nuances around the whithers. The mucosas are unpigmented except of the dark muzzle. The wide and long horns are lyra-shaped. The Cachena Cattle are one of the smallest cattle breeds of the world: The height must be equal or less than 110 cm (both in cows and bulls, with the last ones, being normally taller). Bulls weigh around 550 kg, cows 390 kg.


The Cachena Cattle were originally bred in the Vila Real District, an agriculturally poor district in the extreme north of Portugal. Climate is hot and dry in summer, cold and humid in winter. The grounds are arduous and little fertile. The Cachena Cattle are distributed around the low mountain range regions of the communities in the Spanish natural park Baixa Limia-Serra do Xurés in the frontier region to Portugal. In addition they are spread in the region around the Ourensic village Olelas and in the Portuguese Peneda-Gerês National Park.


Originally the Cachena Cattle were a triple-purpose cattle breed. Nowadays they are only used for beef production. The beef is known for its excellent quality. The Cachena cow produces a little amount of milk that is of markedly good taste because of the wild herbs of the range, quasi perfumed. It is refined to the cheese named "Brandas da Cachena". The beef is a Portuguese Protected Designation of Origin named "Carne Cachena da Peneda".
It is a very rustical breed, excellently adapted to its environment. The Cachena Cattle are kept in the nature. Their good sense of smell helps them to search for rare herbs in the bushland. The cows are very good mothers and treat their calves exemplarily. The small height may be an adaption to the hostile environment: a small cow needs less energy and survives starving periods.


There were only 100 Cachena Cattle exemplars. In Portugal a plan for maintenance of domesticated animals in danger of extinction was made. A Cachena Cattle herdbook was founded 1990.

External links

  • (gl) Raza cachena
  • (pt) [1]
  • (pt) Cachena
  • (pt) barrosã e cachena.
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