The Albera cattle are a breed of beef cattle which are raised mainly for meat production. It is an endangered breed of cattle indigenous to the Albera Massif, which divides Catalonia from France and lies partly in the comarca of Alt Empordà in the Catalan province of Girona, and partly in the comarca of Vallespir in the French département of Pyrénées-Orientales.
Currently it as endangered breed of small cattle. The presence of a breed of cattle was noted in the Albera Massif in the nineteenth century, and the first description of the Albera cattle dates from 1957.
Three sub-types of the breed were distinguished at that time. And those are a dark-coated type, a variable paler type and a third type deriving from cross-breeding with Braunvieh cattle stock.
The types are considered to be two more recently, which are the Negra or dark type and the Fagina or the paler type. The Fagina type was found to be genetically closer to the Bruna de los Pirineos breed than to the Albera Negra type in 1999.
The Albera cattle are very hardy and are highly resistant to cold and also susceptible to heat. And they are well adapted to the steep terrain of the massif.
A breeders association for the breed was founded in 2008 named the Associació de Ramaders de la Vaca de l’Albera.
And on 27 July 2011, the breed received official recognition. And a breed standard was approved and a herdbook established during the same time.
Total population of the breed was recorded as 763 at the end of 2014, of which 618 were cows and 145 were bulls. Read more information about the breed below.
Albera Cattle Characteristics
Albera cattle are smaller sized animals. They are of variable color, and their color can be many. Both bulls and cows usually have horns. And their horns are smaller in size and are of half-moon shaped.
Average body height of the Albera bulls is around 126 cm, and around 121 cm for the cows. Average live body weight of the mature cows is around 275 kg. And the mature bulls on average weight around 350 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
The Albera cattle are a breed of beef cattle. They are used mainly for meat production. They are also used in vegetation management.
The Albera cattle are very hardy and strong animals. They are well adapted to the steep and terrain of the Albera Massif. They are highly resistant to cold and are susceptible to heat also.
They are excellent foragers and are kept in semi-feral conditions year-round. They forage for food including the shoots and mast of the beech trees of the massif.
They are little productive, the cows calve every two years and produce barely enough milk for the calf. They usually have little contact with human. Their meat production is also pretty low.
However, review full breed profile of the Albera cattle in the following chart.
|Breed Purpose||Mainly meat, also vegetation management|
|Special Notes||Well adapted to native climates, pretty good for meat production, very hardy, strong, highly resistant to cold, susceptible to heat, well adapted to the steep terrain of the Albera Massif, cows calve every two years|
|Bulls||Around 350 kg|
|Cows||Around 275 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||Spain, France|